According to noted environmental health analyst, Dr. Theo Colborn, water is not the only life support system at risk in producing natural gas — air quality is also at risk.
There is not only the exhaust from the diesel tucks and machinery during the drilling and fracturing, but the off-gases from the permanent condensers and compressors.
In an Ohio agricultural area, the drilling only has to be 100 feet from a residence!
“Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds are a serious threat to humans and plants… One molecule of ground level ozone can burn a hole in deep alveoli lung tissue… Daily exposure can lead to… asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other pulmonary disorders… Children are especially vulnerable.”
Also in her video, (www.endocrinedisruption.org “Chemicals used in Natural Gas Production”), Colborn states, “Of the known chemicals in natural gas production, 93 percent have adverse health affects… Those that show up shortly after exposure… itching, burning skin, burning eyes, sore throat, nausea, headaches, sinus problems, flu-like systems, fatigue, dizziness and tingling. They may seem minor but can lead to permanent nerve damage that is irreversible… Adverse affects can turn up months or years later… cardio vascular, immune system, bone damage, reproductive, cancer, endocrine disorders.”
Colborn advises, “Wherever natural gas operations are going to commence or increase, air pollution must be treated as seriously as water pollution.”
In addition to these monumental issues, there are other gigantic questions related to high-volume, slick water, hydraulic fracturing. If your water goes bad, where will you get water? Where will the millions of gallons of water — that will be contaminated with hazardous chemicals — used in the process come from? Where will the millions of gallons of waste water — now replete with salt, heavy metals and radioactive materials — be deposed of?
In Ohio, the waste water is to be pumped into injection wells. Cornell Professor Dr. Tony Ingraffea, who has an engineering Ph.D. in rock fracture mechanics, has a video explaining injection wells. (www.mefeedia.com/watch/28577813).
He asks, “How long will they need monitored? Forever! Where will they (gas drilling companies) be in 11 years? Where will your grandchildren be in 11 years?”
No matter how thorough a gas lease is, it can not protect our water and air.
The industry is exempt from many of our nation’s most important environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act and part of the Clean Water Act.
Gwen Lachelt, program director of Oil and Gas Accountability Project (www.ogap.org) has been quoted as saying, “Industry claims that there are no documented cases of water contamination from fracturing. They can make this claim because, since 2005, fracking is exempt: Companies are not required to disclose harmful drilling chemicals — so no water quality monitoring is occurring.”
Julia Fuhrman Davis
North Lima, Ohio