We can now add Oklahoma to the list of Gas Patch areas where residents are experiencing health impacts from irresponsible drilling practices and unresponsive operators and regulatory agencies.
The irresponsible and unresponsive operator in this case is New Dominion, LLC.
From a private email, I learned that New Dominion bought or leased an 80 acre tract behind the landowner, and drilled three production wells and “one dump well.” I assume the dump well is an injection or disposal well.
The landowner does have some testing that shows high levels of BTEX and they are suffering with the all too familiar health impacts that are the trademark of shale drilling and fracking:
“Headaches,Vomiting,Eyes Burning,Rashes,Nose Bleeds“
Of course they have contacted all the appropriate regulatory agencies at the state and federal level. The response from the state regulatory agency could have been written by any state agency in any shale play in any state in America. You can read a redacted copy of the letter HERE.
Part of the problem as described by the landowner and echoed by every landowner in every Gas Patch in America is that the regulators work during the day and the operators vent during the night. There is no way to catch them at it unless you do as I have advised this landowner:
- Conduct your own air quality testing (resources for private testing HERE). Yes, I fully realize how unfair this is but we are up against the richest most powerful industry on the planet.
- Get medical testing (some advice HERE). This may not be easily achieved but it is amazing what an impact finding chemicals in your blood or in your urine metabolites that exactly match the chemicals in your air quality testing can have on the irresponsible operators’ attitude.
- Keep thorough records of everything. Take pictures, video and keep a daily log of what you notice and how you feel. (more information HERE)
- Follow up on all interactions with any agencies by making FOIA requests for all documentation.
In this case, the landowner has some pretty decent documentation. First is a photo showing the emissions that were visible with the IR camera.
Here you can see dust from dry drilling waste that is being applied to the land in what is called landfarming. There is a high probability that the dust contains toxics and radioactive material.
The final photo shows them apply liquid waste to the land.
Of course the cattle are grazing on that land.
Every week I hear from new people in Oklahoma so the opposition is growing. The opposition will continue to grow because the industry is stuck on stupid. Just like New Dominion who “laughed” when this landowner asked them to do something about their emissions–stupid.
One important thing to keep in mind about the recent statement from the Center for Disease Control:As wimpy as that statement is, they admit that they do not know what the health risks are.
Unfortunately, until they get around to figuring it all out in the next three to five years or so, it puts us all in this category: