July 11, 2012 |
The eleventh-hour surprise decision by Pennsylvania lawmakers to ban natural-gas exploration across a swath of suburban Philadelphia is another sign that the region isn't ready for drilling rigs. It's possible that it never will be. In pushing through a drilling ban across a little-known rock formation in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, State Sen. Charles McIlhinney (R., Bucks) said he wanted to assure that communities were protected while experts evaluate a new report that identifies gas reserves under the two counties.
July 10, 2012 |
A Duke University study that examined the possibility that Marcellus Shale drilling in northeastern Pennsylvania contaminates drinking water concluded that pathways in rock formations that allowed salinated water into shallow aquifers were naturally occurring and not a result of hydraulic fracturing. Still, the authors warned in the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that those naturally occurring pathways could allow chemicals and contaminated water caused by fracking also to travel into the drinking water supply.
July 9, 2012 |
KRYMSK, Russia - Russia's president moved quickly to address anger over the deaths of at least 171 people in severe flooding in the Black Sea region that turned streets into swirling muddy rivers and inundated thousands of homes as many residents were sleeping. Vladimir V. Putin, who was criticized in past years for a delayed or seemingly indifferent response to disasters, flew to the region in southern Russia committed to showing he was taking charge of the situation. He ordered the head of Russia's investigative agency to establish whether enough had been done to warn people about the floods.
March 30, 2012 |
Government officials have now confirmed what they strongly suspected a year ago: The radioactive iodine-131 in some of the region's waterways, also found in minute amounts in Philadelphia's drinking water, is coming from thyroid patients. After patients swallow the chemical in capsule or liquid form, some of it passes into their urine, which then enters the wastewater-treatment system and winds up in rivers that provide drinking water, the officials said. Philadelphia's water is safe, according to officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Philadelphia Water Department, and the city Department of Health.
March 15, 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said that well-water tests of 11 homes in Dimock, Pa., near Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling "did not show levels of contamination that could present a health concern. " The samples included three of four households that are receiving drinking water deliveries from the federal government. EPA said it will reevaluate the need to provide water after an additional round of testing. "We are pleased that data released by EPA today on sampling of water in Dimock confirmed earlier findings that Dimock drinking water meets all regulatory standards," said George Stark, spokesman for Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., whose drilling activity has been blamed for well-water contamination.
March 9, 2012
The multistate agency that governs the Delaware River basin has made a sensible decision to continue a moratorium on natural-gas drilling in the watershed. But that has put the Delaware River Basin Commission at odds with some very powerful forces, including state capitals that provide its funding. Fortunately, aside from a direct threat that wasn't carried out by New Jersey to yank its contribution to the DRBC, the agency hasn't been targeted because of its policies on drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation.
January 20, 2012 |
Federal regulators said Thursday that they would deliver drinking water to four households near natural gas wells in the embattled town of Dimock, casting doubt on Pennsylvania's decision to allow a Marcellus Shale operator to halt deliveries in December. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also said it would conduct its own water sampling at 61 homes in the rural Susquehanna County township "to further assess whether any residents are being exposed to hazardous substances that cause health concerns.
December 2, 2011 |
Last month, Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer testified before Congress on what he called the "unbiased real facts" of shale-gas exploration. Speaking before the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, he gave four examples of "suspect science" on the safety of hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas. One of the examples he discussed at length was our study at Duke University. Our study with two coworkers, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in May, found no evidence that fracturing fluids had contaminated drinking water, but it did find evidence of higher methane, ethane, and propane concentrations in some drinking-water wells near drilling sites.
November 27, 2011
Do you support continuing the moratorium on drilling in the Delaware River region that provides this area's drinking water?