Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gas Drilling: More Truck Traffic Accidents, More Spills

Waste water truck line-up
Two people were sent to local hospitals August 7th after a water tanker truck rolled over on State Route 14 near Alba, PA, spilling 1,600 gallons of recycled water from gas drilling operations.  The truck driver was severely injured in the early morning crash.  After the truck came to rest upside down and partly in the road, a car came by and struck the trailer of the truck.  That driver was taken to a hospital as well.

Here is the strange part about this accident.
The PA Department of Environmental Protection were called to the scene and said that there was no "saline" in the truck and the treated water contained "no chemical contaminant."  This water was being transported from Williamsport, PA, after having been "treated" and was being taken to another well pad to be used again for another hydrofracking job.  According to the PA DEP, no clean-up was necessary except for some motor oil and hydraulic fluid from the truck itself.  The Bradford County Public Safety Director Robert Barnes said he did not know where the treatment facility was located- the one where this recycled frack fluid had been treated.

I have read that this recycled frack fluid becomes more and more salty every time it is treated for re-use and that eventually it becomes unusable and must be discarded.  Also I know that this frack fluid contains radioactive material brought up from the ground during fracking.  I do not believe this recycled frack fluid can be called water by any stretch of the imagination.  It could possibly be called recycled frack fluid, but not water.  That gives the false impression, in my opinion, that this fluid is somehow harmless, almost as if you could drink it safely.

I am also puzzled as to how the PA DEP got to the scene so fast and determined that there was no public health or environmental hazard at the crash site.  I know the DEP inspectors do a good job, but this is extraordinary!  Usually after accidents, samples are taken and sent to a lab and it takes a week or so to get the results.

The truck was operated by Principal Enterprises, LLC, of Canton, PA.  The gas drilling company was Talisman Energy USA, formerly known as Fortuna.

Read more.....

Interested in the business of treating frack water?  Go here. The industry makes some pretty amazing claims as to just how pure the treated "water" is.  Do we buy it?

I still maintain that, once fresh water is stolen removed from our rivers and streams and used for hydrofracking, it is no longer water, but rather produced water, or brine.  It will never ever be fit to drink or use in any other way as pure water.  It will never return to the hydrologic cycle as happens, for example, when water is used on golf courses.  This water is only useful to gas drillers and then only for a short while.  Then it becomes  useless even for fracking.  To read the advertisements for this water treatment process, you would think you could give the treated water to a baby.

Some interesting Reader Comments (Towanda Daily Review):

"I talked to one of these local water truck drivers earlier today and he said that he is putting in roughly 100 hours behind the wheel every week. Even working 7 days straight that is over 14 hours behind the wheel every single day. These drivers are being told to make as many trips as possible during their shift. So we have exhausted drivers racing from point A to point B and back - it's amazing we haven't seen more of these trucks involved in accidents."

"Amazing! The DEP was able to do all that testing & obtain the results in less than 24 hours???"

" I ran into one of these tanker rollovers on Sunday afternoon at near 5PM on Route 706 between the Frank and Mary's and the old Red House bakery. It was totally on its back, with wheels in the air, down from the road near a creek. There was lots of emergency services and another tanker (probably to pump the load of whatever out). Why hasn't this rollover been reported on by the Review? It did occur in Bradford County."

"There are too many crashes for the paper to possibly report them all. A couple weeks ago in Monroeton a water tanker ran completely over the front of a car. Squashed it flat. That was never in the paper. We would need a bigger paper."

"Within the past two weeks I have almost been hit head on by two tractor trailers in the Troy area. The first one broke my mirror and the second one would have hit me, but I swerved into the ditch. I encourage all truck drivers to remember that they are supposed to be professional drivers and should obey speed limits and avoid texting or talking on the phone."

"Excuse me for being suspicious, but I simply do not believe that EVERY time there is an accident and a spill by the gas industry, DEP almost immediately says there is no danger, no chemicals, etc. These trucks carry chemicals and highly toxic waste. This is why we need laws that require tracking this "stuff" from start to finish. I, too, wonder how it is they (DEP) can make such quick determinations and tell us it is safe? Each one of these accidents has the high potential to pollute our water. There are far too many of these incidents and too little reporting on them. I have heard these drivers work extremely long hours, often working 7 days in a row. This is insanity. Too much is at risk. I'd be interested in knowing that it was checked and double checked as to just WHERE this frack water was treated!"

And that's just a few of the comments at the end of the article! 

And here is another article related to this subject from the New York Times if you have a moment to check it out.                  

And finally, an interesting interactive graphic about wastewater chemicals.

I guess that's enough reading material for one day!


1 comment:

smurfette said...

I agree. WHERE the frack fluid was "treated" is important. Having the DEC race on over and immediately say, "Nothing wrong here, folks! Move along now! No poisons here at all and DEFINITELY no radioactive materials- OH, NOOOO!" Yeah, just ignore the DEC man behind the curtain, Dorothy- the great and powerful OZ has spoken!