Keep in mind when you read this article about the alarming number of onshore spills–more than 16 everyday–that these are just the spills that get reported or caught. Many of the spills get covered up with sand or gravel.
U.S. well sites in 2012 discharged more than Valdez
Mike Soraghan, E&E reporter
EnergyWire: Monday, July 8, 2013
15.6 million gallons of oil, fracking fluid, wastewater and other liquids reported spilled at production sites last year. That’s more than the volume of oil that leaked from the shattered hull of the Exxon Valdez in 1989. About 11 million gallons gushed from that ship.
If the liquid spewed into the air in one incident described can travel 2 miles, think how far the chemicals can travel in the air.
Kristi Mogen said it has affected her family’s health. One of her daughters had nosebleeds for days on end after a blowout last year that sent a stream of vaporized drilling chemicals into the air 2 miles from their house near Douglas, Wyo. A physical shortly after the incident showed she and her husband had depleted oxygen levels in their blood.
“You feel helpless,” said Mogen, who traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this year to press Congress for stronger regulation of drilling. “It’s not just us. It’s happening all over the United States.
When Aruba Petroleum was drilling at the Ruggiero’s place in Wise County, the only way we knew about a produced water spill on their property was an email then text messages from two whistleblowers. They alerted us that the operator had a crew at the site covering up the spill with fresh sand.
Subra, though, cast skepticism on the idea that spills are contained as often as industry officials say they are, noting that state agencies rely on companies to self-report their spills.
“You always say it was contained,” Subra said. “If you say it wasn’t, you have to answer a lot of questions. The easiest thing to say is that it was contained.”
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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