DIMOCK, Pa. — Between 6,000 and 8,000 gallons of an agent used to stimulate natural gas production leaked from a pipe at a drilling operation and contaminated a nearby wetland and stream in Susquehanna County, according to information from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
This spill happened Wednesday and they still haven’t identified the chemical composition of the substance but, get this:
It’s used as a lubricant to reduce resistance of chemical solutions pumped under high pressure to fracture bedrock and release gas
Gee, I wonder what that could be? Sure sounds like frack fluid–you know, the deadly stuff that killed 17 cows! Whatever it is it “contaminated” a wetland and stream! But, they didn’t just spill it once, they spilled it TWICE and just kept right on going with their frack job. Investigators are wondering if it might affect the water wells. Wouldn’t it be handy to look up the specific chemicals used to speed up remediation? They keep the chemicals top secret, though, since Dick Cheney got the Halliburton Loophole.
The agent was released in two separate spills related to equipment failure or human error. Between 25 and 50 barrels escaped in the afternoon and about 140 barrels spilled in the evening, Carmon said. Each barrel holds about 42 gallons.
Updates added as they come in:
Here is another story that admits it was frack fluid
The spill occurred as Halliburton was using a fluid to fracture the Marcellus Shale and release the natural gas within it, he said. Baker Tank, the contractor responsible for tanking and piping for the “frack” job, allowed a pipe to come loose and release the gel, he said.
H.R. 2766:Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009 already has support from 160 organizations despite industry claims that the bill has a “Death Panel” and despite large infusions of industry cash at all levels. We still need a Texas co-sponsor. Please look at this list of Texas Congressional Members and their SCORECARD on key environmental and energy votes. Please write your representative or find a more reasonable one and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 2766 today! It should be glaringly obvious that we can expect no help from our state regulatory agency so please act before it’s too late.
Another UPDATE: This paper is a little more frank:
The fluid made its way into Stevens Creek and a wetland, spurring a massive clean up and biological impact investigation by the state environmental regulator and the state fish & boat commission.
“We’re up there again today (Thursday). We’re doing sampling,” said Carmon. “The most important thing for us is getting this cleaned up.”
He added that the investigation will determine whether private wells need to be sampled for fracturing chemicals.
The chemicals can be harmful to human health, causing sickness and the possibility of various forms of cancer.
This would be Cabot Oil & Gas Corp’s second disastrous incident in Dimock Township since the company began extensive drilling operations in the township last year. A protective well casing failed at a different well around December 2008, causing methane to pollute the local aquifer.
Due to that, neighbors in the area had their private wells tainted with methane, forcing some to drink bottled water. Their residences were also constantly monitored for the explosive yet odorless gas.
They won’t have any test results until next week but they are calling the chemicals spill hazardous volatile organic compounds which could be stuff like benzene or formaldehyde… So far the spill has killed some “small aquatic” animals.
Please note: The well is operated by Cabot who contracted Halliburton to do the fracking.