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Old 04-21-2013, 01:00 PM
Status: "We're all broken, that's how the light gets in." (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
56,117 posts, read 44,488,119 times
Reputation: 79342

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Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
In addition, fracking operations do not have to be regulated by many of the agencies and laws that other resource extractions are subject to. Here, specifically, are the regulations they are not required to follow:

Full source info: Fracking - SourceWatch
As of 2012, fracking is exempt from seven major federal regulations:[8]

The Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, due to the "Halliburton loophole" pushed through by former Vice-President/former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, exempting corporations from revealing the chemicals used in fracking fluid;
the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which exempts fracking from federal regulations pertaining to hazardous waste;
the Superfund law, which requires that polluters remediate for carcinogens like benzene released into the environment, except if they come from oil or gas;
the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act;
the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act;
the National Environmental Policy Act; and
the Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

As of February 2012, only four of 31 fracking states have significant drilling rules. Five states have adopted disclosure rules, although they still allow for "proprietary trade secrets."

The EPA, at the request of congress, has only begun an intensive study regarding water impacts at fracking sites, so it's premature to say that there the water issues are unrelated. I'll be interested to see what the evidence shows when the EPA study is complete.
Fracking is not totally "exempt from the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act." Furthermore, "the federal E&P RCRA Subtitle C exemption does not preclude these wastes from control under other federal regulations and state regulations (including oil and gas conservation programs and some hazardous waste programs)."
Federal Regulations: Environmental Protection Agency

Also, fracking companies are only exempt from SOME portions of the above act IF they are operating in a state which has it's own program in place which would basically duplicate what the act covers.
Federal Regulations: Environmental Protection Agency

From the EPA's own website on the topic of fracking:

Water is an integral component of the hydraulic fracturing process. EPA Office of Water regulates waste disposal of flowback and sometimes the injection of fracturing fluids as authorized by the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act.

Clean Water Act

Disposal of flowback into surface waters of the United States is regulated by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. The Clean Water Act authorizes the NPDES program.

Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing Under the Safe Drinking Water Act | Hydraulic Fracturing | US EPA

Nor is fracking exempt from federal regulations pertaining to hazardous waste. In fact, under EPA regulations which DO apply to fracking, all exploration and production waste is required to be managed in a manner that protects the environment and human health.

These are some of the federal agencies that regulate hydraulic fracturing - and you may find these recent activities listed interesting as well:
http://www.api.org/~/media/Files/Pol...Activities.pdf

EPA
DOE - Department of Energy
OSHA
USGS
USDA
DOD
DOT
SEC
HHS
NOAA
DOL (Dept of Labor)
Homeland Security

Of course, this list doesn't include state and local agencies.

"In addition to Federal rules, statutes and regulations have been implemented in every oil and natural gas producing state to ensure that operations are conducted in an environmentally responsible fashion. All state drilling regulations specifically address groundwater protection, including requirements for the surface casing to be set below the lowest groundwater aquifer. This casing in combination with other steel casing and cement sheaths that are subsequently installed protects the groundwater with multiple layers of protection for the life of the well. Additional protection is offered by the impermeable rock formations that lie between the oil and natural gas formations and the groundwater, formations that have isolated the groundwater over millions of years."
Groundwater Protection | Energy From Shale

Quote:
As of February 2012, only four of 31 fracking states have significant drilling rules. Five states have adopted disclosure rules, although they still allow for "proprietary trade secrets."
I'm not sure what you mean by "significant drilling rules." Every state with oil and gas industry and fracking has NUMEROUS regulations in place regarding drilling. Here is a good source to peruse the state AND federal regulations on the industry:
Federal and State Regulations



I could go on and on cutting and pasting, but this site is very comprehensive and lays out in rather excruciating detail the myriad of state and federal regulations on the industry.

Quote:
I will also say that not all companies are regulated the way his and probably your husband's are. There are many small companies out there that simply don't have the money or manpower to oversee all aspects of operations.
My husband doesn't work for one company. He is an independent consultant, and therefore works WITH every vendor which interacts with each job site. He oversees every aspect of operations and compliance on each site - that's the main job of any oil and gas "company man." If he runs across a vendor who doesn't abide by state and local regulations, he gets rid of them - because not only would that company be held liable, the company who is operating the well site would be liable. In many cases, even he PERSONALLY could be held liable for a vendor's lack of compliance.

Yes, many of these companies are small. However, that does NOT "get them off the hook" when it comes to liability and compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations. It just doesn't work that way. Liability, safety, and compliance are huge concerns for oil and gas companies and subcontractors regardless of the size of the company. I'm not saying that every single company does a great job safety wise - of course that wouldn't be true in any industry. But the laws are in place -as well as the fines and penalties.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,885,595 times
Reputation: 3330
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Fracking is not totally "exempt from the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act." Furthermore, "the federal E&P RCRA Subtitle C exemption does not preclude these wastes from control under other federal regulations and state regulations (including oil and gas conservation programs and some hazardous waste programs)."
You're right, it's not totally exempt. However, I can't help but have concerns over the "Halliburton" loophole and the exemptions that do exist. I'm not totally opposed to resource extraction. I, for one, have a Forestry degree and worked for years as a "timber beast" with the USFS. I am concerned though when it comes to public safety and our water supply is critical, IMHO.




Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "significant drilling rules." Every state with oil and gas industry and fracking has NUMEROUS regulations in place regarding drilling. Here is a good source to peruse the state AND federal regulations on the industry:
Federal and State Regulations
This isn't me. It was the end of the regulation information I posted from the sourcewatch website. I'm trying to figure out what "significant drilling rules" are now too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
These are some of the federal agencies that regulate hydraulic fracturing - and you may find these recent activities listed interesting as well:
404 Page Not Found

EPA
DOE - Department of Energy
OSHA
USGS
USDA
DOD
DOT
SEC
HHS
NOAA
DOL (Dept of Labor)
Homeland Security
One thing I immediately notice about this list is a call for studies, not necessarily regulation. Also of note, is the status column. Many are showing no action or no additional action. For those agencies who are calling a study, most are all within the last few years. I'm sure it's no coincidence that with the increase of fracking and concern over the environment, the studies are starting to trickle in. This document, however, doesn't show how the companies are regulated by these agencies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Yes, many of these companies are small. However, that does NOT "get them off the hook" when it comes to liability and compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations. It just doesn't work that way. Liability, safety, and compliance are huge concerns for oil and gas companies and subcontractors regardless of the size of the company. I'm not saying that every single company does a great job safety wise - of course that wouldn't be true in any industry. But the laws are in place -as well as the fines and penalties.
I am not saying that because the companies are small, it gets them off the hook. What I'm saying is that these companies do make mistakes, and even with penalties in place, it doesn't mean accidents won't continue to happen. I also find that not having any consistent federal regulations However, depending on the state, the regulations are different. They are not all the same. Perhaps Texas is regulated more than others. Or perhaps Texas is a 'better' place to drill and frack. But, not all soils are the same. Having consistent federal regulations, IMO, would be the most important way to protect all of our natural resources and health. I'm glad to know there are people on the ground like your husband and my uncle. I don't doubt their professional expertise. But, even my own uncle, who has been in the industry for 30 years, isn't privy to proprietary information regarding the chemicals we are injecting into the ground. To me, that says something about these companies. There is a reason they don't want you to know what is in them.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:06 PM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,789 posts, read 3,870,933 times
Reputation: 998
[quote=KathrynAragon;29226382]I'm just saying that ALL of Oklahoma has a history of clusters of earthquakes, some quite significant and causing damage to structures, which predates fracking. That's the information I got from the USGS website to which I gave the link in my last post - but here it is again:


[I agree with you on that. Just recent earthquakes have been centered right at the well. This just came out two weeks ago about the change in the earthquakes. I personally like fracking wells, it sure saves having less wells out there and I've made quite a bit of money off the wells. None on my property but they buy my water at times. I would have cited everything you cited except a few weeks ago from Oklahoma it came out that they have accredited the last several earthquakes to fracking wells. It really upsets my husband because without fracking wells our country is doomed. Obviously, an administration that doesn't like oil and these wells allows up to get more oil. The report said it was the waste water causing the earthquakes. It is all over the news in OK.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:23 PM
Status: "We're all broken, that's how the light gets in." (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
56,117 posts, read 44,488,119 times
Reputation: 79342
[quote=debbie at bouontiful;29229262]
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I'm just saying that ALL of Oklahoma has a history of clusters of earthquakes, some quite significant and causing damage to structures, which predates fracking. That's the information I got from the USGS website to which I gave the link in my last post - but here it is again:


[I agree with you on that. Just recent earthquakes have been centered right at the well. This just came out two weeks ago about the change in the earthquakes. I personally like fracking wells, it sure saves having less wells out there and I've made quite a bit of money off the wells. None on my property but they buy my water at times. I would have cited everything you cited except a few weeks ago from Oklahoma it came out that they have accredited the last several earthquakes to fracking wells. It really upsets my husband because without fracking wells our country is doomed. Obviously, an administration that doesn't like oil and these wells allows up to get more oil. The report said it was the waste water causing the earthquakes. It is all over the news in OK.
Can you give me a source for those claims that the earthquakes are due to fracking? The reason why I ask is not to be horsey - but it's because when we had our spat of earthquakes last year, "fracking is causing it!" was all over the news. However, it really was nothing more than speculation. No studies showed that fracking was the cause of the earthquakes at ALL. It was just scientists and lobbyists getting their fifteen minutes of fame being interviewed by some 24 year old third string "journalist." In other words, it was sensationalist "reporting."

When in actuality, just like your area in OK, earthquakes of similar, and even greater, magnitudes have been going on in clusters since records were being kept - and long before any fracking started. Upon more study, it was determined that our local earthquake cluster had absolutely nothing to do with fracking.

The really funny thing about all the "experts" telling us that fracking was causing our local earthquakes was that at the time, there was no significant fracking going on! Northeast Texas has been nearly completely shut down due to an over supply of natural gas from the Haynesville shale, and low natural gas prices.

It will be interesting to see some real studies on the recent seismic activity in OK, because though fracking CAN cause small earthquakes, it's rare. From the USGS site which monitors all the earthquakes in the world:

"Of more than 150,000 Class II injection wells in the United States, roughly 40,000 are waste fluid disposal wells for oil and gas operations. Only a small fraction of these disposal wells have induced earthquakes that are large enough to be of concern to the public."
Do all wastewater disposal wells induce earthquakes? - USGS Frequently Asked Questions

Here's another site that might interest you as well:
Underground Injection Control Program | Underground Injection Control | US EPA

Good luck on your checks for your water by the way! I'm a little jealous!
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:30 PM
Status: "We're all broken, that's how the light gets in." (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
56,117 posts, read 44,488,119 times
Reputation: 79342
Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
You're right, it's not totally exempt. However, I can't help but have concerns over the "Halliburton" loophole and the exemptions that do exist. I'm not totally opposed to resource extraction. I, for one, have a Forestry degree and worked for years as a "timber beast" with the USFS. I am concerned though when it comes to public safety and our water supply is critical, IMHO.





This isn't me. It was the end of the regulation information I posted from the sourcewatch website. I'm trying to figure out what "significant drilling rules" are now too.



One thing I immediately notice about this list is a call for studies, not necessarily regulation. Also of note, is the status column. Many are showing no action or no additional action. For those agencies who are calling a study, most are all within the last few years. I'm sure it's no coincidence that with the increase of fracking and concern over the environment, the studies are starting to trickle in. This document, however, doesn't show how the companies are regulated by these agencies.



I am not saying that because the companies are small, it gets them off the hook. What I'm saying is that these companies do make mistakes, and even with penalties in place, it doesn't mean accidents won't continue to happen. I also find that not having any consistent federal regulations However, depending on the state, the regulations are different. They are not all the same. Perhaps Texas is regulated more than others. Or perhaps Texas is a 'better' place to drill and frack. But, not all soils are the same. Having consistent federal regulations, IMO, would be the most important way to protect all of our natural resources and health. I'm glad to know there are people on the ground like your husband and my uncle. I don't doubt their professional expertise. But, even my own uncle, who has been in the industry for 30 years, isn't privy to proprietary information regarding the chemicals we are injecting into the ground. To me, that says something about these companies. There is a reason they don't want you to know what is in them.
Thanks for the tone of your responses, and your clarifications and information. I really appreciate being able to have a civilized discussion on this topic.

Just one note I'd like to add - you probably know this, but it needs to be said: Most companies have trade secrets and proprietary information that is only shared with a few people in the company on a "need to know" basis. That in and of itself doesn't concern me. I believe that whether they share the information on the chemicals with the public at large isn't the issue - they still must comply with the EPA's safety standards and a vast expanse of state, federal and local regulations and ordinances.

Will we continue to see more transparency from this industry as the public pushes on them? I hope so, because the public deserves to be kept safe and has every right to push for more information and for regulations that safeguard our families, homes, and health.

For the record, I don't doubt for a moment that there's plenty of winking and back room handshaking and lobbying on all sides of this issue. All the more reason to demand transparency and to continue to focus on safety and environmental protection as we try to meet our energy needs.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,885,595 times
Reputation: 3330
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Thanks for the tone of your responses, and your clarifications and information. I really appreciate being able to have a civilized discussion on this topic.

Just one note I'd like to add - you probably know this, but it needs to be said: Most companies have trade secrets and proprietary information that is only shared with a few people in the company on a "need to know" basis. That in and of itself doesn't concern me. I believe that whether they share the information on the chemicals with the public at large isn't the issue - they still must comply with the EPA's safety standards and a vast expanse of state, federal and local regulations and ordinances.

Will we continue to see more transparency from this industry as the public pushes on them? I hope so, because the public deserves to be kept safe and has every right to push for more information and for regulations that safeguard our families, homes, and health.

For the record, I don't doubt for a moment that there's plenty of winking and back room handshaking and lobbying on all sides of this issue. All the more reason to demand transparency and to continue to focus on safety and environmental protection as we try to meet our energy needs.
Absolutely! I believe transparency is the biggest thing I, and many Americans, seek. I too am glad we can have a civilized discussion about the issue.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:38 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,380,107 times
Reputation: 2635
Wink North Dakota & Colorado mountain rivers

"Of the 1,073 releases reported last year, about 60 percent involved oil and one-third spread brine. In about two-thirds of the cases, material was not contained to the accident site and leaked into the ground or waterways.

But the official data gives only a partial picture, Roberts said, missing an unknown number of unreported incidents.

"One, five, 10, 100? If it didn't get reported, how do you count them?" he said.

He said truckers often dump their wastewater rather than wait in line at injection wells. The Department of Mineral Resources asks companies how much brine their wells produce and how much they dispose of as waste, but its inspectors don't audit those numbers. Short of catching someone in the act, there's no way to stop illegal dumping."
[1]



An interesting article on the past and present activities of oil companies in North Dakota. And, as one will see, with implications for Colorado.

There are so many stories. Of how companies are supposed to report the volume of spills, but as they often do not keep track or know, list the volume of fluid released as zero.

Or of how, for example, the workers for a small Texas-based oil company, Petro Harvester, noticed dead vegetation near one of their saltwater disposal lines. The next day the company reported an estimated leak of 12,600 gallons of brine.

When the state investigated, it turned out this leak had probably been ongoing for weeks prior, 24 acres of land was affected, and something like 2,000,000 gallons of brine had been released. But as no one could see much point in changing the initial estimate of the leak, officially it still stands at 12,600 gallons.

Of how such contamination has in one way or another found its way into rivers and aquifers in the area, at times in quite large volumes.

Some land owners, dissatisfied with state efforts towards prevention or remediation, have contacted the EPA. But to find that the federal government has largely granted the states oversight over such matters. In Colorado, one is likely to find Governor Hickenlooper more a proponent of fracking than with any great concern for the environment. And for the EPA?:
Last July, when he saw signs of a spill near his home [in North Dakota], Keller notified the Health Department and sent pictures showing a trail of dead grass to an acquaintance at the EPA regional office in Denver. The brown swath led from a well site into a creek.

If the spills continued, he warned the EPA in an email, they could "kill off the entire watershed."

EPA officials said they spoke with Keller, but did not follow up on the incident beyond that. The state never responded, Keller said. The site remained untested and was never cleaned up.

"There was no restoration work whatsoever," Keller said.

One might think Colorado would be different, with higher standards. And indeed requirements in places such as North Dakota are more stringent than they once were. But I can personally point to a mountain river with its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park which is being heavily polluted at this very moment, this ongoing since Saturday. Relevant state authorities in Colorado are aware of this, and aside from some lip service have thus far chosen to do absolutely ZERO towards rectifying this situation. What is naturally always a clear and clean mountain river—and is above the confluence contaminating it—now runs a dark muddy brown.

That affecting this particular river has nothing to do with fracking. But the fair question if they have so little concern for something so obviously wrong, what chance do you think those possibly dealing with toxic but unseen pollution elsewhere due fracking? Especially where not just an otherwise pristine river, the health of wildlife and residents are affected—but real money involved?

1) 'North Dakota's Oil Boom Brings Environmental Damage with Economic Prosperity,' Scientific American
North Dakota's Oil Boom Brings Environmental Damage with Economic Prosperity: Scientific American

Last edited by Idunn; 04-30-2013 at 07:47 PM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Colorado
90 posts, read 295,358 times
Reputation: 67
Who do you trust more?

Government regulators or the free market?

I don't trust regulators a little bit. *Especially* those working in the EPA.

- KK
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:15 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
5,824 posts, read 5,250,463 times
Reputation: 12744
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaptain Karl View Post
Who do you trust more?

Government regulators or the free market?

I don't trust regulators a little bit. *Especially* those working in the EPA.

- KK
I'm an adrenalin freak, and I love the unexpected and exciting events which can ensue from those industries least subject to any over sight or regulation. Remember the big fiscal crisis around 2007/2008? Those unregulated financial institutions sure let the country in for a roller coaster ride - and it's not really over yet! Yay, Goldmansachs! You rock! And speaking of rocks, wait till you visit the Naturita/Nucla area! I guess there was supposed to be some sort of regulation of the uranium mining industry there, but apparently, the guy from the DOE wandered off to Disappointment Valley and never returned. They don't even need street lights in Nucla these days. Even if everyone hadn't already succumbed to radiation sickness, the town glows so brightly it doesn't need street lights!

Lack of oversight of extractive mining industries has helped make Colorado the great State it is today.

*Say, you wouldn't mind stepping down that coal shaft first, would you?"*
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Colorado
90 posts, read 295,358 times
Reputation: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
Remember the big fiscal crisis around 2007/2008? Those unregulated financial institutions sure let the country in for a roller coaster ride - and it's not really over yet! Yay, Goldmansachs! You rock!
Somebody needs to stop using totally biased sources. (Or, if you have such a personal bias, state it as I did.)

You really should do some reading on the Community Reinvestment Act, a *government* program, which was the regulatory trigger for the fiscal crisis you noted. (Thank you for making my point.)

Since you probably will not educate yourself, the government regulators -- under the Clinton Administration -- *forced* the banks to make the idiotic loans to people who could not possible repay them. The housing market still has not recovered. And because of 0bamanomics, the banks today are paralyzing small business (which is the real engine of our economy) by holding cash instead of helping with startups and expansions. (I don't blame the banks. I blame this insanely stupid Administration.)

The rest of your hyperbolic post, ....

- KK
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