Ladies and gents, sorry for our absence. There is renewed interest in spending time maintaining this site, as we have primarily been relying on our Facebook page to deliver headlines, but we will begin to again post periodic items here as well. Facebook is certainly the place for up to the minute news, we urge you to check out our group and request to join. The communities and activists that are now binding together in an effort to protect our limited water supply is mind-bending! It was just two years ago most were saying “what’s fracking?” Look how far we have come, folks,
Please dig deep and continue your efforts! You are our only hope. Thanks for all that you do.
The masses now know that fracking is a high-risk operation, that regulations are too lax, that inspectors are barely existent, and that the worse case scenario, meaning a water supply being contaminated – yes, that can happen. That has happened. That happens.
Still unclear on that? Goto google.com and enter “water contamination fracking” and have fun. You will read some arguments that fracking is not the problem. Keep reading. It doesn’t take long to get the idea.
And here’s a few random related headlines to get you going:
SCIENCE: Peer-Reviewed Study: Fracking Fluids May Migrate to Aquifers, Researcher Says – http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-03/fracking-fluids-may-migrate-to-aquifers-researcher-says
ACTION: Help the Delaware Riverkeeper protect the Delaware from Gas Drilling – http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/act-now/urgent-details.aspx?Id=109
SCIENCE: Scientists predict groundwater contamination in as little as 10 years, they’re talking about the wastewater seeping up through the limestone from 7000 feet down. So much for that wastewater staying put. What goes down must come up. http://www.marcellusprotest.org/myers_17Apr2012
ACTION: Get the Facts on Fracking Wastewater webinar – http://eany.convio.net/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=100221&autologin=true&AddInterest=1081
ACTION: “Stop the Frack Attack” Call to Action – http://www.stopthefrackattack.org/call-to-action/
NEWS: Dirty dealings of the industry: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/02/us-chesapeake-mcclendon-hedge-idUSBRE8410GG20120502
NEWS: Dory Hippauf, an absolute champion of the cause, offers: Connecting the Dots: The Marcellus Natural Gas Play Players – http://commonsense2.com/2011/12/naturalgasdrilling/connecting-the-dots-the-marcellus-natural-gas-play-players-part-1/
VIDEO: One woman’s mystery medical saga, hear her speak – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hB33D105ak&feature=share
NEWS: Residents Fed Up with Bad Water Flee Shale Drilling Areas – http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2012/04/30/residents-fed-up-with-bad-water-flee-shale-drilling-areas/
ACTION: Support New Yorkers against Fracking – http://www.nyagainstfracking.org/#.T5rgv4vOKmk.facebook
LETTERS: Letter to the Editor – Marcellus Issues – So Sure of Permitting they Don’t Bother Following Construction Dates – http://doddridgenews.com/letter-to-the-editor-marcellus-issues/
SCIENCE: Updated Cornell Study Shows Fracking Causes More Global Warming Than Coal – http://inhabitat.com/updated-cornell-study-shows-fracking-causes-more-global-warming-than-coal/
BLOGS: Frack Waste Causing Fish Cancer? – http://keeptapwatersafe.org/2012/04/17/frack-waste-causing-fish-cancer/
VIDEO: The untested science of fracking, 16-minute video, worth a look – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEHz8SSfFJs
SCIENCE: The Fracking Frenzy’s Impact on Women – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/04-3
VIDEO: Couldn’t help it, children talking about fracking – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIFP0bk_AaY
SCIENCE: Confirmed, Fracking Tied to Unusual Rise in Earthquakes in U.S. – http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-12/earthquake-outbreak-in-central-u-dot-s-dot-tied-to-drilling-wastewater
SCIENCE: Another one for good measure, study conducted by the USGS – http://www.frackcheckwv.net/2012/04/10/deep-well-injections-cause-increased-earthquake-activity/
VIDEO: Ignitable Drinking Water in Candor, NY, Above Marcellus Shale – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEtgvwllNpg
NEWS: Doctors Forbidden From Sharing Info With Fracking Victims (seriously?) – http://greenglobaltravel.com/2012/03/27/eco-news-doctors-forbidden-from-sharing-info-with-patients-exposed-to-effects-of-fracking/
ACTION: Donate to SavetheWaterTable.org today to help us continue the fight to protect our water! Many thanks!
And to all, keep up the good fight.
By Kate Coil for The Register-Herald : Mon Jan 17, 2011, 12:02 AM EST
UNION — Though acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has announced he intends to utilize the natural gas of the Marcellus shale, residents of Monroe County, who live above the shale, say drilling into the area will decimate their culture, safety and even endangered species in the area.
Jill Fischer, co-president of the Save the Water Table organization, said drilling on the Marcellus shale puts citizens at risk.
“It sounds to me like Gov. Tomblin wants to exploit West Virginia,” Fischer said. “The state has been a supplier of the nation’s coal and supplies power and industry. Though we supply all of these corporations, if you look around at our income, health and other factors, we are at the bottom when compared to every other state.
“What has been exploited in West Virginia is not our natural resources but our people. We are facing a pretty hard thing. When it comes to them prospecting for drilling sites, Monroe County’s prospects aren’t good.”
Fischer said county residents are working to prevent hydrofracture drilling or “fracking” in their area. Fracking is a process in which a well is drilled several thousand feet into the ground. From that one well, several other well holes are then created in a variety of directions with multiple horizontal bores, covering a wide area underground.
Next, Fischer said around 1 million to 2 million gallons of water are injected into the well holes, augmented with various chemicals to release natural gas within the shale. Each drilling site requires 4 to 5 acres of land and are in constant operation.
Fischer said Save the Water Table has been working to energize the rural communities in Monroe County about the issue.
SavetheWaterTable.org recently hosted members of the WV Office of Environmental Health and the DEP. We are incredibly appreciative that they offered us their time and energy, and took the time to travel to Monroe County and visit with us. We look forward to another visit in the near future.
After having discussed a wide variety of questions (of which we may hope to provide a written narrative in the future), we as a community feel increasingly educated as to the powers at work and the systems in place (and/or not in place) surrounding the hydraulic fracturing enterprise.
Writing as a resident of Monroe County who attended this meeting, I would like to offer a couple simple summations from my perspective.
- The answer to a great deal of questions concerning how hydraulic fracturing would affect the environment, and in particular, fracking in karst, is: We don’t know. The DEP knows there are many unanswered questions. And we are very pleased to know that their follow-up is: We don’t know, but we intend to find out – which is why the DEP is performing a PROGRAM REVIEW in which they are reviewing all ordinances and regulations as well as the processes themselves to determine what additional measures may be required to frack safely.
- The proposal for this Program Review is set for November 1st, and it will be conducted on a timeline to be determined at some point thereafter.
- It is during this program review, I am confident the DEP will find enough wrong with hydraulic fracture in its current state and enough additional risks associated with performing the operation in karst or within watersheds – that they will disallow the process in this area completely until further technologies insure that it can be done with zero/minimal impact to the environment.
- The DEP has a lot of power. A LOT OF POWER. They give the permits to the operators which allows them to drill. Not only do they have carte blanche the power and the responsibility to determine whether permits should be given AT ALL – but they also have the power to include additional provisions in the permits that require the operation to go above and beyond the policies laid out by current legislation. This is monumental strength – it means that in advance of the completion of a full Program Review and the resulting change in policy, as a protective measure, the DEP can deny all permits to hydro-frack until more information is gathered and better policy is enacted.
- As for current legislation – there are special requirements for karst in other states – but as of yet, not in WV. This desperately needs to change ASAP!
- The DEP is horrifically understaffed, which we can extrapolate to mean underfunded. Our government must find a way to correct this and fast! There are currently 17 inspectors in WV to cover all drilling activity. This is terribly under-prepared. Even if we end up with good policy and ordinance, they are useless if they are not enforced with an iron fist.
- VERY IMPORTANT: The permits to drill in WV have a two-year life. The conditions and policies active on the day the permit is signed remain active for the length of that two years, regardless of whether the relevant policies change in the interim. That means if a company was permitted to drill BEFORE the Program Review is completed – despite the possibility that the Review would ultimately create policy that would further regulate the process or may even disallow it completely – the active permits would remain alive, and those operators could continue to conduct business as usual for the full two years. That’s a long time – and an incredible amount of damage could take place as our county plays guinea-pig in hydraulic fracturing in karst 101 class, having just missed the new legislation that is designed to protect us. We cannot allow that to happen.
- Accordingly – as a community, we must focus! URGE THE DEP TO NOT ISSUE PERMITS! And at a bare minimum, to not issue permits until the Program Review has been completed, water can be tested, an environmental impact study can be completed – and the smart and savvy members of the DEP and EPA and state offices, health departments, geologists, water technicians and community leaders can each and all assure us that no harm will come to our land, no harm will come to our water at the hands of this “clean” energy endeavor. If this cannot be promised, then a moratorium should be established immediately until further time when such assurances can be made with confidence.
Contact Gene Smith, a gracious member of the DEP who visited with us on Monday. He is very knowledgeable and a great communicator and works together with James Martin, Chief of the Office of Oil and Gas of the DEP. Send him an email : email@example.com
Location: Senior Citizen Center in Union, WV
Date & Time: Monday, November 8th, 2010 @ 7pm
Description: STWO is very pleased to announce that Rose Baker and Bonnie Hall from Wetzel County will be at the Union Senior Citizen Center on November 8th at 7:00pm to present slides of the situation in Wetzel County. Both women are involved with the Wetzel County Action Group (www.wcag-wv.org) and will share their experience with the hydraulic fracking- horizontal drilling for gas that has been taking place there. The Planning Commission, the County Commissioners, the DNR , the EPA and others have visited Wetzel County. We are very privileged to have these citizens come to our county and show slides and talk with us. Please mark your calendars for November 8th, 7:00pm at the Union Senior Citizen Center. We will be serving homemade refreshments after the presentation.
Location: Senior Citizen Center in Union, WV
Date & Time: Monday, October 25th, 2010 @ 2:30pm
Description: A group of representatives which will include members from the WV Office of Environmental Health Services (Environmental Engineering Director, Source Water Program Manager) and may include additional members from the DEP will be joining a core group from SavetheWaterTable.org and other interested parties to discuss the potential impact of hydraulic fracture on our community.
We in Monroe County are incredibly fearful that our land will be destroyed as we have seen happen in other states and counties. We stand fearful together with our friends in neighboring counties, like Greenbrier, Pocahontas and Summers, as well as those who have suffered already from hydraulic fracturing and related activities, like Wetzel and Marshall County. We have followed every detail of the battles in NY and PA, have read every headline – and the thought that our little county could be ravaged by this process dominates every conversation, keeps us up at night and haunts us while we sleep.
Location: Senior Citizen Center in Union, WV
Date & Time: Monday, September 13th @ 7pm
Description: The next meeting of SavetheWaterTable.org will be on Monday, September 13th at 7pm at the Senior Citizen Center in Union, WV. Come and join us!
Location: Senior Citizen Center in Union, WV
Date & Time: Monday August 23, 2010 @ 7pm
Description: SavetheWaterTable.org members will regroup to further refine our organization via its committees and action strategy.