Monday, March 10, 2008

Danger of injecting chemicals beneath ground on drilling sites

From: Sue Skidmore []
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 3:28 AM
To: MO-MultiIssue@yahoogroups. com; MO Rural Crisis Center; MPC
Subject: hideous
Importance: High

From: Tom Kruzen []
This article was posted on by our Heartwood friend, Shawn Porter in Arkansas. He alerted us to not only this practice of injecting into groundwater such toxic and carcinogenic chemicals as diesel, benzene, xylene, toluene and ethyl benzene to bring up natural gas but that the USDA Forest Service may allow this practice in the newly proposed oil and gas drilling in the Quachita and Ozark National Forests in Arkansas. This hideous idea allegedly came from the demented mind of dick cheney while he was at Halliburton. Please read the article, funnel your rage to the appropriate political leaders below and think of ways to stop this! Please pass this article on to everyone you know!
-Tom Kruzen, volunteer
Missouri Water Sentinels
The River Reporter
Narrowsburg, New York
March 6-12, 2008
Congress investigates possible water contamination caused by gas well drilling
Local group considers legal action
UNITED STATES — Gas drilling companies in the nation are being accused of injecting toxic chemicals into the ground without government or industry oversight.
The U.S. House of Representative’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating the process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used in the creation of gas wells, which allegedly has caused contamination of the drinking water in several locations around the country. In the fracking process, water, sand and other materials are injected deep into underground wells at high pressure to force out gas, which can then be recovered.
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), chair of the committee, began hearings on October 31, 2007 on the subject of diesel fuel and other toxic chemicals being mixed into the fracking fluid. He also sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) asking if the EPA was effectively monitoring a 2003 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that was intended to eliminate these injections into the underground sources of drinking water.
Waxman said in the October memo that while the EPA claimed that it was actively monitoring the drilling, “the basis for your statement appears to be less than impressive: a hastily collected set of three e-mails amounting to just half a dozen sentences.”
In the hearings Waxman held, a succession of scientists—a medical toxicologist, a national recognized endocrinologist, a member of Trout Unlimited, a senior policy analyst of a national defense council and several landowners—claimed that gas companies not only injected diesel fuel into the fracking liquid as a part of their drilling, but also injected benezine, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene into the liquid, which in turn contaminated drinking water, causing serious physical ailments in residents.
The Waxman hearings
According to Chemical and Engineering News, which reported on the hearings in a February 8 article, hearing witness Dr. Theo Colborn, a Ph D. in zoology and president of the Endocrine Disruption Exchange, a non-profit group that focuses on health problems from low-dose chemical exposures, said, “The toxic chemicals are employed for fracturing operations and are added to alter the underground strata to allow methane to escape up the well pipe. We have identified 171 products used in Colorado containing altogether 245 different chemicals, 92 percent of which have adverse health effects.”
Dr. Daniel T. Teitelbaum, an occupational physician and toxicologist, in testimony before the committee, said, “There is no data base of those exposed as workers or as residents near the extraction or processing. Although there have been documented health complaints by residents, no government agency has asked for an investigation,” he said. “The fact that neither government nor industry has undertaken these critical exposure/outcome health studies is inexcusable.”
Lack of oversight
Opponents of the drilling process claim that the lack of oversight goes back to an energy policy meeting convened by Vice President Dick Cheney, held back from Congressional oversight, that recommended that Congress exempt hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The exemption was passed as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Halliburton, of which Cheney is a former CEO, created the fracking technique.
At the time, an editorial comment from the Oil and Gas Accountability Project (, a non-profit group with the mission of working with tribal, urban and rural communities to protect their homes and the environment, made the following report after studying the procedure of fracturing: “The National Energy Bill currently pending before the Congress includes this exemption. If passed, states, municipalities, and individual property owners will have to bear the burden of any clean-up, health risk and loss of property values associated with ground-water contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing.”
Local opposition
A group of residents and friends called Damascus Citizens for Self Government have been attempting to educate residents on the dangers that can accompany gas drilling and fracturing. Upon learning of the Waxman hearing alleging the dangers of the widespread practice of fracturing, the group has contacted renowned environmental attorney Richard Lippes, who served as counsel to plaintiffs of the famous Love Canal case.
“We are in conversation with Mr. Lippes and are examining our options at this time,” said Barbara Arrindell, a spokesperson for the group..
“I have agreed to represent the group and to investigate if the option of going to court would be useful,” Lippes said. “Oil and gas drilling may adversely affect the local environment and we would do whatever is necessary to provide protection to the people and their property.”
Lippes also represents the Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition in its fight against the New York Regional Interconnect’s proposal to build a power line through the area.
Representative Henry A. Waxman (D - 30)
DC Phone: 202-225-3976
DC Fax: 202-225-4099
Bond, Christopher S.- (R - MO)
202) 224-5721
Web Form:
McCaskill, Claire- (D – MO
202) 224-6154
Web Form:
Lincoln, Blanche L.- (D - AR
202 224-4843
Web Form:
Pryor, Mark L.- (D - AR)
202) 224-2353
Web Form:
Obama, Barack- (D – IL
202) 224-2854
Web Form:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D- NY)
Phone: 202-228-0282
Fax: 202-224-4451
McCain, John- (R - AZ
202) 224-2235
Web Form:
To find out your legislators, go to:

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