This is the same sludge pond I posted about HERE
This is also posted on Texas Kaos where you can see a much larger version of the pictures.
It still has a strong stench of sewage from where the drilling company dumped their sewage. It also has a strong chemical and hydrocarbon smell.
I called TCEQ and the EPA which was a major time suck. They couldn’t do anything about this; and they weren’t overly interested. I guess I’ll call the Texas Railroad Commission next which will be another major time suck.
Just this week, I was called a “Knucklehead” and a “Radical” by Will Brackett, Managing Editor of the Powell Barnett Shale Newsletter Shill. I think it’s clear that the radicals are the corporations that practice this kind of environmental abuse. From the comments on that post, they might have come out better striking a match at one of their well sites.
I’m not a wastewater technician, but I would bet my pet nanny goat that the solids floating in that pond are, at least partially, human feces.
Nice lining job, eh?
Sludge pits/ponds are used to hold exploration and production (E&P) waste.
- radioactive materials
- heavy metals
- other cancer-causing, toxic substances
exempts E&P waste
from federal hazardous waste regulations.
Pits endanger birds, wildlife and livestock.
“There have been many instances of bird, wildlife and livestock mortality resulting from drinking or simply coming in contact with the toxic fluids in pits.”
Pollution from pits occurs in a variety of ways:
- Evaporation releases chemicals (benzene) and volatile hydrocarbons into the air.
- Unlined pits leach chemicals into soil causing soil and groundwater contamination.
- Lined pits leach chemicals through tears in liner and through improperly installed liners.
- During rain, pits overflow and contaminate soil and surface water.
Regulation of pits and pit cleanup is extremely lax. Most of the pits I see every day have remained for many years
Oil and gas enjoys broad exemptions from our environmental laws.
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
- Safe Drinking Water Act
- Clean Water Act
- Clean Air Act
- National Environmental Policy Act
- Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
Closing the exemptions and loopholes along with pushing for clean, renewable energy sources will help keep us safe and protect our environment for future generations.
UPDATE: The well operator is Braden Exploration LLC 086335
Lease Name is Moore
I also posted HERE
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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What about State congressman, senators, US congressman, senator?
Look into the committee in the house or senate that deals with this shit and start sending each of the members this information and demand hearings on the Hill.
While most officials are bribed and keep away from this stuff, you will find someone that isn’t…
Keep up the fight!
The first couple pictures appear to be reserve pits used to catch cuttings screened out of the drilling fluid during the drilling process. The give-away is cuttings-built up on one side of the pit. The drilling fluid was probably diesel-base mud, which is why it was left behind (it is the cheapest base oil, but contains nasty aromatics).
Other parts of the world require the use of synthetic base fluids when non-water base drilling fluids are required, due to environmental concerns. For instance, synthetic paraffins (which is white oil, used in baby oils and vasoline) or synthetic esters derived from palm oil, and easily bio-degradable. The stuff is expensive, and every effort is made to extract as much drilling fluid as possible from cuttings, and normally very little liquid gets into the pit. The drilling fluid is transported off-site after the job and re-used elsewhere. The cuttings are transported, processed and disposed of off-site. The reserve pits are cleaned up after the drilling operation is completed and filled in.
Water base systems are fairly benign, containing bentonite, barite, starches, polymers derived from starches and sometimes salts. The one nasty chemical is caustic soda (Sodium hydroxide) which has to be carefully handled while initially being mixed with water, before it is mixed and diluted into the drilling mud. It is used to raise the pH of the fluid to the 8-10 range. While these chemicals are not poisonous in diluted form, one would not want slightly basic or sometimes salty water from the fluid leaching into the groundwater (but the in-situ more concentrated form, definitely not good for cows, birds and plants), so these drilling fluids wastes should also be removed, processed and disposed of properly after the drilling process is completed.
Texas evidently has little in the way of any environmental laws, or else they are not being enforced.
Good work on exposing this.
By the way, I am not anti-drilling myself, but we need to wean ourselves off of use of fossil fuels as an energy source and develop a more sustainable energy source.
I wouldn’t be anti drilling if it could be done responsibly and with great care to protect air water and land. But that will never happen with an industry that is driven by greed.
Oh James, thank you for the information. =)
They absolutely threw their sewage from living on site for 2+ months into the pit with the rest of the mix.
Big Oil says
Your starting to annoy me Sharon….maybe a “cease & desist” order is in store for you and your lovelies……..more likely a restraining order. We do not want to take this to the other level…….like they do in Chicago……..
I am not afraid of you.
Hey, ‘Big Oil’ — you do realize that anyone stupid enough to put an implied threat like that onto a blog can be accused of and investigated for domestic terrorism, right?
Makes me think you’re less a member of “Big Oil” and more likely a bunch of local “Pinkerton Thugs” instead.
Your grammar is very poor, Big Oil.
It should be “You’re starting…
I have your IP address. Not too smart, are you?
“Big Oil” is an idiot…you hit a nerve with this idiot and they want to appear tough.
After you report the IP address to Homeland Security and the AG, they’ll be crying to their mother.
Gosh, I do hate idiots who think they are tough..
you’re starting to annoy a lot of people too.
Stop the threats, or these stories might start appearing on a whole lot of blogs.
The Texas Cloverleaf says
STFU Big Oil. There we said it. Just STFU! We’ve had enough of your nonsense, telling us where you can drill and how you want to drill. This finally exposes the piece of shiite you are.
John Coby says
What is big oil’s IP address? Post it on the internets and lets out the person.
David Van Os says
Bravo for you, Sharon. Somebody is very uncomfortable that you are exposing their filthy pollution of our beautiful Texas. Their cowardly mouthpiece “Big Oil” exposes their filth with his/her filth. Thank you for helping us all with your fearless journalism.
Thank you soooo much Sharon for all that you are doing, I never knew all of this until I met you. It’s unfathomable that these “ponds” are simply left out, uncovered with no regard to anybody or anything.
Keep up the fight girlfriend!
Big Oil: threats are not a path you want to go down with TxSharon. Anyone harms one hair on her or her family, and you’ll have a lot worse to deal with than worrying whether you can get away with polluting or not.
Here’s an idea for you if you’re sick of Sharon’s truth-telling:
Clean up your act. Police your industry. Quit screwing up the air and water, and she’ll have nothing to complain about.
Oil and Gas is running over us all–We’ve been run out of our home by this crap. I believe people should continue to be informed of their ways! The worthless Texas politicians are doing nothing about the problem–they’re all BBO’s (BBO = Been Bought Off)!
Keep up the good work on this site.
These companies are using celebs and cash for their propaganda. I am starting to think the hike in the electric bills are all just part of creating a sense of desperation so we will think they are here to save us. Do you have any advice on what we should do?
Erin, they will say anything and do anything to get us out of their way.
Google “who represents me” then write all your representatives and tell them that oil and gas should not be exempt from following our environmental laws. Get all your friends and their friends to do the same.
That way maybe we can be a little better protected until we find another source of energy.
You will want to look at the RRC's pit rules, 22 TAC § 3.8, relating to water protection, and § 3.22, relating to protection of birds available at:
I made a complaint, but it has been ignored, so far. Along with those rules, sewage was not intended for disposal in a sludge pit.
No Methane for Liverpool Plains says
This is also happening in Australia
This is also happening in Australia
Just wanted to say, Hello and give immense gratitude for the blog, information and work all of you have been doing. I live in Marcellus Shale region and this is only just beginning for us. Our land is virgin, no utilities, state forest, .. and some how I would like to learn from all of you and defend , the most beautiful peace of heaven on earth. Lush and green.. water.
I am absolutely sick reading all of this..