Bluedaze: Drilling Reform Texas Sharon Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:37:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Oil & Gas Toxics Detected Near Playgrounds across the Barnett Shale Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:37:59 +0000

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Hazardous Chemicals from Oil and Gas Development Detected Near Playgrounds across the Barnett Shale

Carcinogen levels violate TCEQ’s long-term ambient limits

Denton, TX, – Independent air tests at five separate playgrounds across the
Barnett Shale have revealed hazardous chemicals associated with oil and gas development at all five. At three of the playgrounds, carcinogens were present at levels exceeding TCEQ’s long-term ambient limits.

“The oil and gas industry claims that they’re drilling responsibly,” said ShaleTest president Tim Ruggiero. He continued, “These tests show they’re not.”

The tests were of part of a study conducted by, an independent nonprofit formed to test air and water in drilling-affected communities for those who can’t afford to fund such tests themselves. As part of the study, ShaleTest performed state of the art air modeling that shows that some of these hazardous chemicals travel for miles.

“Although emerging science confirms that fracking-related air pollution is a health risk, there’s no agreement yet on ‘how close is too close’,” said Calvin Tillman, ShaleTest’s Director. He continued, “these results suggest that sometimes ‘miles away’ can be too close.”

In Denton, Texas, where voters will decide whether to ban fracking in the November election, fracking ban opponents claim that a vote against the ban is a vote for “responsible drilling”. The Denton playground, located in McKenna Park, is one of the playgrounds at which carcinogens were found in excess of TCEQ’s long-term ambient limits.

“The City of Denton promised us air monitoring. But we’d never have known about toxic benzene at McKenna Park violating the TCEQ long term exposure limit if it hadn’t been for independent testing,” said Denton Drilling Awareness Group president Cathy McMullen. She continued, “After years in pursuit of responsible drilling with industry, and state and City government, we now know from personal experience that responsible drilling is a sham. That’s why the only way Denton residents can protect their families is to vote for a ban on fracking in November.”

View full report here.

Links to Gasfinder videos.

This is not the first time toxics have been detected in McKenna park.

The community near McKenna Park collected small donations and hired an environmental scientist to conduct several sets of air monitoring during fracking and flaring.

Note: When this air testing was conducted, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) used Effects Screening Levels (ESL) to determine exposure limits. Now they use the Air Monitoring Comparison Values (AMCV).

Benzene was detected on three different days at 4.81 ppbv, 16.2 ppbv, and 55.4 ppbv, all are exceedences of the long-term ESL exposure limit (Center for Disease Control says long-term is one year) and one exceeds the short-term limit (short-term is typically 15 – 30 minutes).

Benzene is a dangerous chemical and the World Health Organization says, “Benzene is carcinogenic to humans, and no safe level of exposure can be recommended.” But benzene was not the only chemical detected at McKenna Park. Eleven different chemicals were detected and 16 tentatively identified compounds where detected some over long-term/short-term detection limits.

Here are the results:

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Documentation shows air pollutants from fracking in Denton. Thu, 25 Sep 2014 01:48:39 +0000

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Have you been reading the crazy comments in the online version of the Denton paper? No matter how the opposition tries to spin things, there is documented proof of air contamination and Dentonites are being exposed to a cocktail of nasty chemicals.

Read about three examples and why this is so important to health at


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VIDEO: Denton mineral owner testimony of fracking horrors Sun, 21 Sep 2014 18:14:43 +0000

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This is testimony given at the Denton City Council hearing for the ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Patricia Andrews is a 23-year resident of Denton, Texas, a landowner and a mineral owner. She signed a lease and experienced fracking on her property.

The well was not profitable and it was noisy and destructive. Forcing contractual obligations for clean up took considerable effort. Worst of all, a perfectly healthy horse was found dead, five feet from a leak of fluids at the well site.

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Crude oil bomb trains have little oversight in Texas Sat, 13 Sep 2014 13:23:23 +0000

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These trains are rolling right through your towns. Even Denton… The crude from shale formations is more explosive than regular crude. It might be all those highly flammable, explosive fracking chemical they pump into the formation. I’m betting that plays a roll.

Anyway, is your town prepared for a catastrophe from a bomb train? Do you live in the blast zone?

Crude oil rides Texas’ rails with little oversight

But in Texas, home of the country’s most prolific production, biggest proved oil reserves and most expansive refining capacity, crude oil rides the rails with little oversight. To fulfill the minimum requirements of a federal emergency order, state public safety officials have agreed to receive some information about potentially volatile crude arriving from a subterranean formation in North Dakota. They do not, however, assess the cargo originating in Texas, passing through from other places or moving toward the great global hub of Houston. They do not test its flammability. They do not, in any significant detail, track its quantities, movements or destinations.

Now, as federal officials begin testing some wells in South Texas for the same explosive properties found in northern samples, some experts say the state may be taking a serious safety risk by turning a blind eye to the crude churning through its rapidly expanding rail networks.

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M 2.9 earthquake in North Texas Thu, 11 Sep 2014 13:37:27 +0000

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There was a M 2.9 quake just north of Irving early this morning. There is no fracking near the epicenter but plenty just a little to the west.

Event Page

NBC5 news reports

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Water well goes bad in Booger County Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:09:06 +0000

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A landowner in Robertson County, which is also known as Booger County, woke up Sunday morning to find the water from his well cloudy. This followed an event on Saturday where one of the many nearby sour gas wells was venting very loudly.

One interesting thing is that the sediment in the water does not settle to the bottom of the jar.

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Earthquake in Arlington coincides with water main break Mon, 08 Sep 2014 20:22:33 +0000

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In the wee hours of Sunday morning, there was a M 2.4 earthquake in Arlington. There was also a water main break and sinkhole. You can see a video of the water main break on Facebook.

Looking on the Texas Railroad Commission GIS map, I did not find any injection disposal wells in the immediate area. Please remember that injection is injection and disposal well injection, enhanced recovery injection and fracking injection all can and have caused earthquakes. Keeping that in mind, look at the maps below that show the approximate epicenter, according to the USGS, marked in gray. Notice the intense areas of fracking just just to the south and west of the epicenter.





NBC5 News report.

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Range Resources hopes to kill free speech in Texas Sat, 06 Sep 2014 01:02:59 +0000

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Range Resources’ case against Lipsky is the “poster child for what SLAPP is.” And what did Lipsky do to deserve the wrath of Range? He called the EPA. But, he only called the EPA after the Texas Railroad Commission failed to take action for months (see timeline).

After the Texas Railroad Commission declared that Range Resources did not contaminate Steve Lipsky’s well, Range filed a ridiculous $3 million countersuit against the Lipskys and the scientist they hired to test their water.

Highest Court to Weigh in on a Dispute Over Water
By JIM MALEWITZSEPT. 4, 2014 for NY Times.

The $3 million suit accuses the three of conspiring to “defame and disparage” Range Resources and force federal regulators to intervene.

failedThen Range tried to drag me into the suit. Even after receiving my discovery that showed I had no involvement with the Lipskys prior to the EPA stepping in, they still made me go to a court hearing and sit through a really stupid, 6-hour deposition (See: Fun with depositions Part One and Part Two). They harassed me and tried to bully me hoping to shut me up. But, like their cement casings, they failed.

Now Range wants to shut up all Texans. Obviously, they have a great deal of political power and the Texas Supreme Court has a long history of ruling in favor of business. This should be interesting so I hope to go watch the arguments. Maybe I’ll get to see David again.

Read the NY Times article.

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Conference speakers to highlight earthquakes and fracking Fri, 05 Sep 2014 15:47:29 +0000

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I blogged earlier about the Earth, Wind and Fire Energy Summit coming to Dallas and you can read the entire brochure at that link.

One of the featured speakers is Dr. Nicholas van der Elst who will talk about frackquakes.

A featured Sunday speaker at the Earth, Wind, & Fire Energy Summit in Dallas Oct.4-5

Dr. Nicholas van der Elst
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, New York

Nicholas van der Elst is an earthquake seismologist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York, studying the mechanics of earthquakes and faulting. His research holds a special focus on earthquake interactions and triggering, like in the foreshock and aftershock sequences that may lead up to or follow a larger quake. This incudes a focus in triggered earthquakes caused by deep fluid injection and disposal wells – a hot topic of discussion today in our region.

Van der Elst was featured in Science magazine in 2013 with other colleagues whom he collaborated with on a study focusing on the relationship of deep wastewater injection and midwestern seismic activity.

Fracking and Groundwater Contamination will be addressed by Dr. Zachariah Hildenbrand, UT Arlington whose water testing results found “alarming” levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in proximity to fracked wells.

Petroleum engineer, Kathy Martin, will give information about fracking.

There is still time to get in on the Early Registration Rates and One Day Attendance Rates Now Available

Earth, Wind, Fire Energy Summit One Day Rate

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Oil and gas at blowout in Tyler, Texas flows into stream Wed, 03 Sep 2014 23:28:48 +0000

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This is a huge mess. Workers are wading in almost knee deep gunk that has breached the earthen berms built in an effort to contain it. The gunk is flowing into a stream and will take about a year to clean up.

Why do they let the industry frack near streams, creaks, rivers and lakes?

Watch the video.

They say the well should be secure by tomorrow.

Wouldn’t it be horrible if this happened in a populated area like Denton? Oh wait. Already did.

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Video: Puppets for the Planet tell story of Frack Free Denton Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:21:17 +0000

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A not so fictional tale of fracking in the neighborhood.

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