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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bubbling Waters: Paddle at your own Risk

When I paddled on the Susquehanna on September 5, 2010 to see the bubbling near Sugar Run ( Bradford County, PA ) firsthand, I was in the largest area of bubbling for a minimum of 15 minutes, and probably no more than 30 minutes. Shortly after paddling away, I experienced an almost immediate onset of mild nausea, and had a low-grade headache that lasted for several days. I mentioned the nausea to several folks at the end of the trip.

Check out this article in today's Daily Review. It appears I am not alone in what I experienced.

From the article:

David Buck, the owner of two affected wells, said his concern is primarily for the Susquehanna River. He and his wife own Endless Mountain Outfitters and lead kayak and canoe trips along the river, which is still bubbling from a methane seep associated with Chesapeake's drilling.

"Some of the folks did have some pretty nasty water," he said, but his wells had shown evidence of methane before drilling began. He did not take treatment systems offered by Chesapeake and opted instead to monitor the gas to make sure it does not get worse.

Last week, he paused during a kayak trip to look at the bubbling Susquehanna.

"They say that methane doesn't harm you, but if you're over where it is bubbling it can affect your breathing," he said. "I don't know how they are going to address that. I don't know if they can. But in my opinion it could be dangerous if it makes you light-headed or nauseous while you're looking at it."

IMHO, the PA DEP needs to get a few folks to rent some kayaks and take some air quality tests in the field of bubbles on the Susquehanna River in Bradford County.

My only recommendation; don't breathe too deeply.

Here are a few pics from my 9/5/2010 trip.

Below: Pics of bubbling field on Susquehanna
Overall size: ~50' wide x 150'+ long

 Modern day canary in the coal mine?

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