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Rapports | NO FRACKING FRANCE

Rapports

 

 

 

Oct 2, 2013  http://aapdistrictii.org/update-on-hydrofracking/

Update on Hydraulic Fracturing

Sheila Bushkin-Bedient, MD, MPH, Geoffrey E. Moore, MD, and
The Preventive Medicine and Family Health Committee
of the Medical Society of the State of New York

Introduction and Background

The potential risks and benefits of high volume hydraulic fracturing, also called “hydrofracking” or “fracking,” have been a source of ongoing debate among physicians, politicians, the oil and gas industry and the general public. The debate is about American self-sufficiency in energy supply, and issues surrounding the American economy, ecology and public health.

Because of growing industrial and political interest in harvesting natural gas reserves trapped within the Marcellus Shale region, New York State physicians have expressed concern about potential short term and long term health consequences of fracking. MSSNY’s Preventive Medicine and Family Health Committee was charged with studying the subject and informing MSSNY policy on fracking, and recommended delaying the onset of operations. MSSNY Council adopted a policy on December 9, 2010 (Position Statement # 90.992) to “support a moratorium on natural gas extraction using high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State until valid scientific information is available to evaluate the process for its potential effects on human health and the environment.” 1   Access this directly at:    (http://www.mssny.org/mssnycfm/mssnyeditor/file/2011/About/Position_Statements/2011_Position_Statements.pdf )

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Air Pollution and Natural Gas Operations

07/09/2013

This peer reviewed study by Dr. Theo Colborn details the health risks related to air pollutants generated by natural gas operations. Researchers documented a range of volatile chemicals and correlated them with well site operations. They documented the presence of numbers of chemicals at levels which could have multiple health effects on adults as well as on prenatally exposed children. Many of the chemicals found in the air are endocrine disruptors.

Is the Dairy Industry Impacted by Shale Drilling?

07/06/2013

A new peer-reviewed study finds that milk production and milk cows decreased in Pennsylvania counties where shale gas drilling is most prevalent.
From the abstract:
Unconventional natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania has accelerated over the past five years, and is unlikely to abate soon. Dairy farming is a large component of Pennsylvania’s agricultural economy. This study compares milk production, number of cows, and production per cow in counties with significant unconventional drilling activity to that in neighboring counties with less unconventional drilling activity, from 1996 through 2011. Milk production and milk cows decreased in most counties since 1996, with larger decreases occurring from 2007 through 2011 (when unconventional drilling increased substantially) in five counties with the most wells drilled compared to six adjacent counties with fewer than 100 wells drilled.

Gas industry must make changes to protect health

05/30/2013

It will take years for the full health impact of natural gas development to be known. Authors of a new peer-reviewed study urge that steps be taken now to protect the health of humans and the planet. Modern Natural Gas Development and Harm to Health: The Need for Proactive Public Health Policies argues that the natural gas industry must make changes now to protect the health of people and animals.
The paper provides a literature review of unconventional natural gas development and its effects on human health. It focuses on impacts on children’s health, general harm to health, water contamination and air and soil contamination.

NB Chief Medical Officer says health is crucial in shale gas decisions

05/12/2013

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for New Brunswick has issued a ground-breaking document looking at shale gas development and public health. Released in September 2012, The Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Recommendations Concerning Shale Gas Development in New Brunswick starts from guiding principles of public health, outlines what is known and what is not known about shale gas and health, and sets out recommendations for how the province should proceed in order to protect public health if it moves ahead with shale gas development.
Now Dr. Cleary is speaking out about the province’s Shale Gas Blueprint. “Because health wasn’t identified specifically as an objective or a priority, that does leave me with some cause for concern, Cleary told CBC.

Worker Exposure to Silica During Fracking

05/09/2013

A study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the US shows that workers at fracking operation sites may be exposed to dust with high levels of respirable crystalline silica during hydraulic fracturing. NIOSH collected 116 air samples at 11 different hydraulic fracturing sites in five different states to evaluate worker exposure to crystalline silica. At each of the 11 sites, full-shift personal-breathing-zone (PBZ) exposures to respirable crystalline silica consistently exceeded relevant occupational health criteria.
Inhalation of silica can cause silicosis, an incurable but preventable lung disease.

Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit Information on Natural Gas Extraction and Hydraulic Fracturing

04/15/2013

The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) Network encourage families, pediatricians, and communities to work together to ensure that children are protected from exposure to environmental hazards.
Children are more vulnerable to environmental hazards. They eat, drink, and breathe more than adults on a pound for pound basis. Research has also shown that children are not able to metabolize some toxicants as well as adults due to immature detoxification processes. Also, the fetus and young child are in a critical period of development when toxic exposures can have profound negative effects.

Read more »

Gas Patch Roulette: How Shale Gas Development Risks Public Health in Pennsylvania

03/27/2013

Gas Patch Roulette is one of the few studies to date documenting patterns of illness in people living close to shale gas development. The report was released in October, 2012 by Earthworks Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP.)

The findings of this study stand in strong contrast to statements—often made by industry representatives and policymakers seeking to expand drilling—dismissing claims of health impacts as “personal anecdotes” and isolated incidents.

EPA Links Water Contamination to Fracking in Pavillion, Wyoming

07/13/2012

In a first, federal environment officials today (Dec. 8, 2011) scientifically linked underground water pollution with hydraulic fracturing, concluding that contaminants found in central Wyoming were likely caused by the gas drilling process. …
Beginning in 2008, the EPA took water samples from resident’s drinking water wells,finding hydrocarbons and traces of contaminants that seemed like they could be related to fracking. In 2010, another round of sampling confirmed the contamination, and the EPA, along with federal health officials, cautioned residents not to drink their water and to ventilate their homes when they bathed because the methane in the water could cause an explosion.

To confirm their findings, EPA investigators drilled two water monitoring wells to 1,000 feet. The agency released data from these test wells in November that confirmed high levels of carcinogenic chemicals such as benzene, and a chemical compound called 2 Butoxyethanol, which is known to be used in fracking.

The findings by the Environmental Protection Agency come partway through a separate national study by the agency to determine whether fracking presents a risk to water resources.

In the 121-page draft report released today, EPA officials said that the contamination near the town of Pavillion, Wyo., had most likely seeped up from gas wells and contained at least 10 compounds known to be used in frack fluids.

The findings by the Environmental Protection Agency come partway through a separate national study by the agency to determine whether fracking presents a risk to water resources.

In the 121-page draft report released today, EPA officials said that the contamination near the town of Pavillion, Wyo., had most likely seeped up from gas wells and contained at least 10 compounds known to be used in frack fluids.

April 1, 2013 Public Health, Reports

By Deborah Rogers

Assessing shale production honestly and accurately requires that all externalities, or created peripheral costs, be examined in a circumspect manner. It is imprudent, indeed stupid, to consider oil and gas projects without also considering the externalities which inevitably arise due to its heavy industrial nature. A careful look at costs such as road damages are certainly warranted but road damages are not the only externality with shales. Regions heavily engaged in shale production are now experiencing skyrocketing costs directly attributable to oil and gas production which are significantly outstripping revenues provided by extraction. These costs not only include road damages but also health impact costs and loss of crops. Very little has been said about such costs in the giddy statements made about shales. In fact, it would seem that the states which embraced shales early clearly did not conduct proper due diligence on the activities that they were green lighting. All of them, including the state of Texas which has a long history of dealing with oil and gas, have been caught completely unaware by these skyrocketing costs. Road repairs alone are now estimated, in some cases, to be multiples of what states are taking in from severance tax revenue. And road repairs are only one externality of shales.

The American Lung Association (ALA) quantified the health costs of air pollution from nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). These are two primary constituents of ozone. ALA estimates that the impact of such pollutants on the health of the people who live in regions where ozone is prolific comes to about $1648 per ton of NOx and VOC’s (2010 dollars).

The shale industry emits significant amounts of NOx and VOC’s in their day to day operations. In fact, when shale comes to town, it becomes one of the primary polluters. In Texas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) studied air emissions from gas drilling operations in the Barnett shale region. In December 2011, TCEQ quietly submitted a report to the US EPA which confirmed that gas drilling operations in the region were producing significantly more VOC’s than all the on road mobile sources in this large metropolitan area (DFW). TCEQ estimated that gas drilling accounts for approximately 121 tons per day of NOx and VOC’s. That equates to about $202,000 per day or $73,000,000 per annum. Just for the Barnett region.

In Arkansas, emissions from shale gas production in 2008 were estimated by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to be approximately 5979 tons per annum. In a mere four years (2012), emissions had grown to approximately 20,347 tons per year based on current extrapolations. This means that health costs soared from $450,000 to $33,500,000. And this annual expense is not covered by the industry that caused it.

In the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) estimated NOx and VOC emissions from shale production in 2011 at 19,300 tons per year. That translates into health costs of nearly $32,000,000 per annum. Again, none of the costs are covered by the industry that perpetrated it.

Further, much of these calculations from the various state regulatory agencies are based on self reported emissions inventories provided by industry. Unfortunately, states simply do not have the man power or resources to adequately check and verify such estimates. Because self reporting is suspect by its very nature, particularly when done by an industry that stands to gain monetarily through underestimation, it stands to reason that these costs could conceivably be much higher. For instance, industry self reported their methane emissions in Colorado and claimed in inventories that they never exceeded 2%. But the University of Colorado, Boulder and NOAA conducted a three year study on gas fields north of Denver and found that emissions were running about 6%. They then found emissions from a gas field in Utah running about 9%. So self reporting, for obvious reasons, has its issues.

Add these health impact costs to the estimates of road damages and the taxpayers burden continues to grow exponentially. Moreover, ozone also affects crop production. Cumulatively for the Barnett, Fayetteville and Marcellus, based on very conservative estimates, we can add another $26,000,000 on to the businesses of the region for crop losses and damages.

And, yes, that would be businesses other than the one that created the problem.

Does industry think that it has a responsibility to cover the costs or take responsibility?

When a paper issued by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) was released last October it caused quite a stir. HARC scientists concluded that significant levels of formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen and precursor for ozone, were being emitted from gas operations. This is one of the primary reasons that the remote Jonah-Pinedale gas field found itself with ozone spikes that were higher than the worst day recorded in the City of Los Angeles.

The Texas Pipeline Association (TPA) made the following statement upon perusal of HARC’s paper:

“TPA and its members desire to be good stewards of our environment and are not opposed to regulation grounded in good and supportable scientific bases. The technical paper does not provide that type of support.”

Really?

This is an interesting interpretation by TPA if only for the following reason. The Chairman Emeritus and Founder of HARC, the entity that conducted and released the paper, is none other than George Mitchell. It was Mitchell Energy that perfected the technology of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracture stimulation more popularly known as “fracking”. The current Chair of HARC is John Butler who also serves on the Board of Anadarko Petroleum. Other industry executives serve as well. It becomes a bit tricky to dispute findings from an entity whose board reads like a “who’s who” of energy academia and oil and gas.

Nevertheless, TPA stuck to its guns and stated:

“…the four significant problems identified…effectively render the conclusions meaningless”.

Billions of dollars in road repairs, tens of millions of dollars every year in health costs and agricultural damage is anything but meaningless. Unless of course, you consider privatizing profits and socializing damages an ethical way to do business.

http://energypolicyforum.org/2013/04/03/shale-externalities-health-impact-costs/

 

Exemption of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Wastes from Federal Hazardous Waste Regulations

Chemical and Biological Risk Assessment for Natural Gas Extraction in New York

Oil and Gas Industry Fatal and Nonfatal Occupational Injuries

Fatalities Among Oil and Gas Extraction Workers – United States, 2003–2006

Consideration of Radiation in Hazardous Waste Produced from Horizontal Hydrofracking

Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Infant Health: Evidence from Pennsylvania (Work in Progress)

Taking the Handle Off the Fracking Pump: Human Rights and the Role of Public Health Inquiry in an Age of Extreme Fossil Fuel Extraction (Hydrofracking)

Ten Problems with New York’s Shale Gas Drilling Plan

The Costs of Fracking: The Price Tag of Dirty Drilling’s Environmental Damage

List of the Harmed (ongoing)

Gas fracking: can we safely squeeze the rocks?

APHA: The Environmental and Occupational Health Impacts of High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing of Unconventional Gas Reserves

Gas Patch Roulette: How Shale Gas Development Risks Public Health in Pennsylvania

Summary Report: Human Health Risks and Exposure Pathways of Proposed Horizontal Hydrofracking in New York State

Support to the identification of potential risks for the environment and human health arising from hydrocarbons operations involving hydraulic fracturing in Europe

Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Recommendations Concerning Shale Gas Development in New Brunswick

NIOSH Field Effort to Assess Chemical Exposures in Oil and Gas Workers: Health Hazards in Hydraulic Fracturing

Methane sampling Report of Leroy Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania

Worker Exposure to Silica during Hydraulic Fracturing

 

 

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