Monday, September 9, 2013

Hydrofracking NEWS

Waste Without Borders: Fracking's Dirty Dilemma
Back in May, State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk declared that the state was “under assault” from imported shale gas drilling waste. At that time she announced legislation that would ban out-of-state fracking-related hazardous waste products (including wastewater) from being imported into, treated or disposed of in New York. Federal and state governments exempt these wastes – which pose risks to human health and ecosystems – from the tracking regulations which govern the handling, storage, treatment and disposal of  other hazardous substances.

“The fact is we don’t know what’s in the waste coming into our state, we’re not sufficiently regulating the treatment of those wastes, and we cannot be certain that the treatment plants are adequately protecting our lakes, rivers and streams,” says Senator Tkaczyk. The fact that landfills and sewage treatment facilities in New York are accepting this waste before the Cuomo Administration completes its review and decides whether or not to open the state to high volume horizontal fracking influenced Tkacyzk’s decision to introduce the legislation, which ultimately did not reach the floor for a vote. “It makes no sense that we would accept hazardous wastes from other states while we are working to determine the environmental impact fracking would have on New York,” says Senator Tkacyzk. It is worth noting that New York is the only state that is importing fracking waste from other states while under a moratorium banning high volume horizontal drilling inside of the state.
Read more at Huffington Post GREEN

Marcellus Watch: Drillers go for broke in appeal of bans
In New York State, a municipality's established legal right to ban gas drilling within its borders stands as the final line of defense against an aggressive energy industry bent on setting its own rules.

Now that right is up for grabs.

The state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, agreed last week to hear industry challenges to drilling bans enacted in 2011 by the towns of Dryden and Middlefield. Those bans were passed under the towns' home rule authority to exercise land use law. Roughly 60 municipalities have passed similar bans and many more have passed drilling moratoriums.
Read more of the article by Peter Mantius at The Leader.

DEC official on fracking decision: 'There isn't a timeframe at this point'
ALBANY — A high-ranking official in the state Department of Environmental Conservation declined to estimate when a decision on hydraulic fracturing may come down, telling lawmakers Friday that there “isn’t a timeframe at this point.”

Anne Reynolds, the DEC’s deputy commissioner for administration, told the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee that the agency continues to review comments it received on a 2011 draft review of fracking, a 1,500-page document known as the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, or SGEIS.
Reynolds testified on behalf of the DEC at a hearing held by the legislative committee Friday. The state agency first started its review of fracking more than five years ago. Read more at the Democrat and Chronicle.

Chesapeake Energy Agrees To Pay $7.5 Million To Settle Royalty Lawsuit
The biggest natural gas driller in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging the company underpaid gas royalties to leaseholders.

Attorney Michelle O’Brien of the O’Brien Law Group, Moosic, said the settlement, reached Friday with Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s subsidiary Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, will benefit several thousand leaseholders who alleged they were wrongly charged fees related to process used to refine and transport natural gas extracted from Marcellus Shale. Read more at State Impact NPR.

VIDEO: Unearthed -- The Fracking Facade
The "Fracking Facade" seeks to set the record straight by exposing a flawed claim often abused in the sales pitch for promoting shale gas development across the world: "With a history of 60 years, after nearly a million wells drilled, there are no documented cases that hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') has led to the contamination of groundwater."

Fracking Away Our Water Supply
The state of Texas has become the prime example of what can happen when the natural gas industry is allowed to run roughshod over citizens.  The state is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in modern times, and certain areas have already had to resort to water rationing.

But the dwindling supply of fresh water in Texas has barely slowed down the natural gas industry’s fracking activities.  Even as livestock are dying off, crops are withering, and citizens are having to purchase bottled water in order to quench their thirst, fracking companies are sucking fresh water out of the ground in order to satisfy their need to extract every ounce of natural gas from beneath the Texas soil. Read more at DeSmogBlog

Fracking 'threatens God's glorious creation'
The Church of England has told parishioners that fracking causes environmental problems and risks lasting harm to “God’s glorious creation”.
The Diocese of Blackburn has published a leaflet for its flock, telling them that for Christians, fracking presents “a choice between economic gain and a healthy environment.”
The church's decision to highlight potential downsides of fracking comes as Conservative ministers step up efforts to sell the technology to voters as an economic necessity.
Read more at The Telegraph (UK)

U. Tennessee gets no bids for fracking on its land
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal by the University of Tennessee to allow natural gas wells to be drilled on land it owns on the Cumberland Plateau has been halted.

The Tennessean reports the school put the brakes on the project, which was put out to bid in June and has received only one response: a no-bid.

CONSOL Energy Chief Operating Officer Randall Albert said in a letter that the company decided against the proposal because it didn't make economic sense for the company, but said the company would be interested in the proposal was restructured. Read more at SFGate.

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