Wednesday, February 15, 2012


These photos were from an event late last year. Getting anyone, including the WV DEP (Department of Environmental Permitting) into action has been as effective as pushing string uphill.

So I guess we'll just have to wait around for the next pollution incident.

Here are the photographs I took:

Above: Sampling the foam

Above: The foam was first spotted at the side of the road at the bottom of a series of streams and small waterfalls. In parts it looked like clumps of snow (the snow had been melting)

That foam sure does hang around!

Water running down the hill around 100 yards away was CLEAR! Around 1/2 a dozen streams were running clear red/brown.. PH was 6.8 by the way so Acid Mine Drainage is definitely not the issue.

Above: Foam and red Water

Above: Red Stream running into the Cherry River

Above: Foaming waterfall running into same stream

Above: Two Foamy Streams Coalesce.. they empty into the Cherry River

Above: Two of us who handled this stuff ended up with red, sore, burning hands.. wonder what the deer thought when they drank it?

Above: One of the streams shows the unnatural red color and the white foam. This is NOT Acid Mine Waste by the way..

Accumulating further up the hillside..

Above: The polluted water finds its way down into a culvert and into the Cherry River. DEP didn't even get back to us for A WHOLE MONTH after we reported this incident!

Above: Polluted water entering via a small tributary of the Cherry River

Above: At a rather higher altitude above the river, we found this drainage ditch.. this red/brown color is identical to many other spills recorded through PA, WY and other fracked states.

Foam caught in Laurel leaves as the water churns down to the Cherry River

Friday, February 10, 2012


37% of households in one gasfield have at least one person with cancer. Folks, there is *NO* SAFE LEVEL FOR BENZENE! Deadly Benzene migrates through polythene piping and it seems that the industry has known this for many years. What pipeline is being used in West Virginia? PA? TX? WY? A multi-layer pipeline IS available with a protective aluminum layer but is much more expensive and there is no legal requirement to use it. Are the likes of Chesapeake Energy, Cabot etc KNOWINGLY poisoning the environment?
Thanks to Texas Sharon and her Blue Daze blog and Arlington TX Barnett Shale Blogger
For those who can’t watch videos on their computers, here are the Cliff Notes.
  • In the middle of the largest area of drilling and fracking in Germany, there is a cancer cluster.
  • Small town, with cancer in one-third of homes – 27 homes with 10 cancer cases in 9 homes.
  • They’ve been fracking since the nineties. (Sound familiar?)
  • They pipe the flowback and produced water for disposal through pipelines. (Sound familiar?)
  • Testing the soil around these pipelines found 4000 micrograms of benzene. Five micrograms is hazardous to health.
  • Toxicologist says benzene is among the most “alarming chemicals we can imagine.”
  • The German Big Gas Mafia does not see the connection. (Sound familiar?)
  • There is a spiderweb of pipelines all over the place and the contamination found is widespread. (Sound familiar?)
  • The pipe looks like this: (Look familiar?)

  • A plastic and chemistry expert admits benzene will leak through. She says weeks–it can “someday” leak through within weeks.
  • They have known about this since the 60s. (Sound familiar?)
  • Benzene leaked through PE pipelines requiring a 4 year remediation and disposal of  2500 tons of soil.
  • ExxonMobil claims it only became known in 2007. (Interesting admission considering they are still using the pipe.)
  • A Google search reveals that manufacturers admit the pipe is unsuitable for materials containing benzene.
  • Squirming by regulatory agency that allowed pipe and so forth. (Sound familiar?)
Health effects of Benzene:

Benzene causes cancer and other illnesses. Benzene is a "notorious cause" of bone marrow failure. "Vast quantities of epidemiologic, clinical, and laboratory data" link benzene to aplastic anemia, acute leukemia, and bone marrow abnormalities.

The specific hematologic malignancies that benzene is associated with include: acute myeloid leukemia (AML), aplastic anemia, myleodysplastic syndrome (MDS), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
The American Petroleum Institute (API) stated in 1948 that "it is generally considered that the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is zero." The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) classifies benzene as a human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to excessive levels of benzene in the air causes leukemia, a potentially fatal cancer of the blood-forming organs, in susceptible individuals. In particular, Acute myeloid leukemia or acute non-lymphocytic leukaemia (AML & ANLL) is not disputed to be caused by benzene. IARC rated benzene as "known to be carcinogenic to humans".

Outdoor air may contain low levels of benzene from automobile service stations, wood smoke, tobacco smoke, the transfer of gasoline, exhaust from motor vehicles, and industrial emissions. About 50% of the entire nationwide (United States) exposure to benzene results from smoking tobacco or from exposure to tobacco smoke.

Vapors from products that contain benzene, such as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents, can also be a source of exposure, although many of these have been modified or reformulated since the late 1970s to eliminate or reduce the benzene content. Air around hazardous waste sites or gas stations may contain higher levels of benzene. Because petroleum hydrocarbon products are complex mixtures of chemicals, risk assessments for these products, in general, focus on specific toxic constituents. The petroleum constituents of primary interest to human health have been the aromatic hydrocarbons (i.e., benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylenes). OSHA requires that a mixture "shall be assumed to present a carcinogenic hazard if it contains a component in concentrations of 0.1% or greater, which is considered to be a carcinogen.

The short-term breathing of high levels of benzene can result in death; low levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Eating or drinking foods containing high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and death.

The major effects of benzene are manifested via chronic (long-term) exposure through the blood. Benzene damages the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and depress the immune system, increasing the chance of infection. Benzene causes leukemia and is associated with other blood cancers and pre-cancers of the blood.

Human exposure to benzene is a global health problem. Benzene targets liver, kidney, lung, heart and the brain and can cause DNA strand breaks, chromosomal damage, etc. Benzene causes cancer in both animals and humans. Benzene was first reported to induce cancer in humans in the 1920s. The chemical industry claims it was not until 1979 that the cancer-inducing properties were determined "conclusively" in humans, despite many references to this fact in the medical literature. Industry exploited this "discrepancy" and tried to discredit animal studies that showed that benzene causes cancer, saying that they are not relevant to humans. Benzene has been shown to cause cancer in both sexes of multiple species of laboratory animals exposed via various routes.

Some women having breathed high levels of benzene for many months had irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries. Benzene exposure has been linked directly to the neural birth defects spina bifida and anencephaly.  Men exposed to high levels of benzene are more likely to have an abnormal amount of chromosomes in their sperm, which impacts fertility and fetal development.

Animal studies have shown low birth weights, delayed bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals breathed benzene.

Benzene has been connected to a rare form of kidney cancer in two separate studies, one involving tank truck drivers, and the other involving seamen on tanker vessels, both carrying benzene-laden chemicals.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


If you remember, Dimock is the town in PA where around 70 wells have been contaminated by fracking. Right now, the EPA has moved in and is conducting extensive testing on residents' water wells. It seems that an entire aquifer has been contaminated. Some residents HAVE accepted payoffs from the gas companies to shut up and keep quiet. Those who bravely refuse to accept payoffs KNOW that wrong has been done, that their water has been poisoned forever.. and refuse to bow down without a fight.


But, but.. they keep telling us that fracking is safe!!

FACT: Fracking uses a large amount of water and turns it to hazardous waste. It disturbs and damages underground­ aquifers. And yet it is not regulated or governed by the Clean Water Act. This situation must change!