Thanks to my network of friends up in Bradford County for making me aware of the recent public service announcement in the Rocket Courier out of Wyalusing. As follows:
Chesapeake: 'Continuing Our Investigation' on Water Quality Issues - 8/19/2010
The Rocket-Courier reported last week on polluted drinking water at several residences on Paradise Road in Terry Township, notably efforts made by Chesapeake Energy to provide water tanks for household use and bottled drinking water. One family, Jeremy and Heather McMicken and children, had to evacuate their home due to high methane levels in their water.
The gas company was asked for a response or statement, but it wasn’t received until after the newspaper went to press Wednesday evening, Aug. 11. That statement was included on our web site the next morning along with a “Rocket Bulletin” to more than 1,100 subscribers of that service. That statement, issued by Brian Grove, Chesapeake’s Director of Corporate Development, follows:
“Several Chesapeake staff met with residents from Paradise Road last week to discuss the residents’ concerns and to offer our assistance in addressing them.
“While Chesapeake doesn’t believe the facts implicate its drilling operations is causing the water issues at hand, we are continuing to work cooperatively with residents and with the PA Department of Environmental Protection to determine the cause.
“While we continue to investigate, we have offered to temporarily provide water supplies to residents and have offered to drill new water wells in an effort to improve the situation. The affected water wells are drilled into a common shallow and gravelly aquifer, which could be easily disturbed by many possible sources. Additionally, insufficient water well construction for this type of aquifer could cause or exacerbate poor water quality issues. Chesapeake has offered to drill replacement water wells of superior construction standards as it appears that nearby water wells drilled into deeper, consolidated formations, are not experiencing similar water quality issues.
“A difficult aspect of this investigation is the lack of pre-drill water testing on some of the water sources. The PA Department of Environmental Protection recommends pre-drill testing within a 1,000 foot radius of any oil or gas drilling operation. Chesapeake pro-actively tests even further, to a distance of 2,500 feet. All but one of these water sources are beyond even our expanded testing radius and thus Chesapeake has no pre-drill data for a number of the water sources.
“The pre-drill testing that we do have in the area shows that nearly 70 percent of the residential wells had measurable methane levels prior to any Chesapeake drilling activity in the area. Furthermore, 30 percent of those wells exceeded at least one of the drinking water standards for arsenic, iron and manganese promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“All pre-drill testing is performed by highly-trained environmental technicians that are experienced in specialized sampling techniques required for reliable, high-quality data. They are certified by the PA Department of Environmental Protection and they are independent of any influence by Chesapeake.
“We are not able to reach a conclusion at this time as to the specific source(s) of the problem, but we are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and a good neighbor, and to continuing our investigation together with the residents and the PA Department of Environmental Protection.”
I snagged the pic below from the Rocket Courier's website:
The least Chesapeake could do is have a some colored water buff's to match the surroundings....
Anyway, it will only be a matter of time before the same disclaimer is repeated in your region by Chesapeake, or Cabot, or EnCana, or any of the other out-of-state companies coming to a neighborhood near you.
I've covered this issue at length in a previous post. The highly folded, fractured and faulted bedrock of Marcellus Shale-dom is a drilling disaster zone waiting to happen. If you are within 3 miles of a wellpad where horizontal hydrofracturing will take place, get your well tested ASAP. You will not regret it.
Coming up tomorrow, a return to Weekend Weminiscing and a personal revelation you will not want to miss.