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Pennsylvania cattle quarantined from gas fracking contamination
Axis of Logic ^ | Friday, Jul 9, 2010 | Tom Laskawy

Posted on 07/10/2010 2:22:27 PM PDT by Willie Green

Agriculture officials have quarantined 28 beef cattle on a Pennsylvania farm after wastewater from a nearby gas well leaked into a field and came in contact with the animals.

The state Department of Agriculture said the action was its first livestock quarantine related to pollution from natural gas drilling. Although the quarantine was ordered in May, it was announced Thursday.

A mere taste of what's to come from natural-gas fracking in the Marcellus Shale, folks.

With fracking, or hydraulic fracturing of rock formations to extract natural gas, we're setting ourselves up for an environmental disaster of epic proportions -- and much of it the result of an inability to develop rural economies. Residents in upstate New York and central Pennsylvania are desperate for income, and the gas companies are happy to write checks for mineral rights. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and New York are in the middle of state budget crises. The prospect of tax revenue from fracking is apparently more than enough to offset environmental concerns.

In fairness, both states are paying attention to the risks of water contamination, but they may both conclude that a little water contamination is a small price to pay for a balanced budget and increased rural incomes (at least for leaseholders). Pennsylvania is already experiencing pushback from gas companies who say the state's drilling regulations for drinking water protection in Marcellus Shale regions are unreasonably high. Complicating matters further is that both the New York City and Delaware Valley watersheds are likely to gain special protections, which leaves areas outside those regions more vulnerable to lenient standards. Ya gotta drill somewhere!

Nightmare scenarios abound. As High Country News summarizes, fracking has brought the West "polluted wastewater problems, large scale habitat disturbance, methane leaks from pipelines, and potentially serious health impacts that come along with the use of toxic chemicals in hydraulic fracturing." And as this article on Civil Eats suggests, even heavily regulated fracking could be enough to destroy much of New York's Hudson Valley farmland. After all, how many cattle quarantines or lost crops does it take to put a farmer out of business? Answer: not many.

Indeed, this latest episode, despite the fact that the cattle don't yet seem to have been harmed, will give little comfort to those who have to listen to industry assurances of safety. Would you want to eat cows that have been dining in fields covered in benzene and diesel fuel?

My hope is that the tactics the energy industry have used to exploit natural resources to great success out West won't work back East, where they are operating much closer to media and population centers. But betting on the strength of politicians' spines to resist doing the bidding of the energy industry never made anyone any money ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: New York; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: fracking; gas; hydrofracking; marcellus; shalegas
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1 posted on 07/10/2010 2:22:29 PM PDT by Willie Green
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To: epithermal

Ping.


2 posted on 07/10/2010 2:26:07 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Willie Green

Funny thing is that the lefties will whine about the Cheney Exception when it was actually Bill Klinton’s Administration that let the gas industry be unregulated by the Clean Water Act.


3 posted on 07/10/2010 2:28:29 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring

The fracking gubmint keeps expanding and we’re all fracked...


4 posted on 07/10/2010 2:30:09 PM PDT by jessduntno (A-Stan: "illiterate peasants in caves, ruled by "warlords" ... not a target for "nation building.")
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To: jessduntno

Yeah, and there’s no fracking free lunch here - it’s a cost/benefit analysis.


5 posted on 07/10/2010 2:31:49 PM PDT by rockvillem
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To: Willie Green

This is one point of view. Contamination from fraking is rare.


6 posted on 07/10/2010 2:32:17 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: RobbyS

“Indeed, this latest episode, despite the fact that the cattle don’t yet seem to have been harmed..”

In other words, despite no evidence at all “we’d” like you to get upset over something that “we” “feel” is wrong....


7 posted on 07/10/2010 2:37:06 PM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (America held hostage - day 507)
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To: RobbyS
Completing your sentence...

This is one point of view. Contamination from fraking is rare or common...we really don't know because complaints are often settled out of court by the oil/gas companies and there's not extensive regulation of the industry.

I think that any true conservative would believe that nobody has a right to inject something--which might intrude into your water supply--into the ground without revealing what it is. There's also an obligation against negligence, which means sufficient study and protection should be required prior to threatening other peoples' health and property rights.

8 posted on 07/10/2010 2:41:33 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Willie Green

Willie,
Just how deep are these wells that they’re frackin’? How close to the surface are they placing the charges? I run a water company servicing 500 homes. When they started drillin’ gas wells near by, I expressed my concern. They told me that the gas wells would be thousands of feet deeper than my 275’ deep wells, and there was no concern at all about contamination.. nonetheless, as I was leaving their engineer’s office I mentioned that if they screwed up, I was gonna be the new owner of their company. So far, 10 years, no problems, but also no frackin’ that I’m aware of. Edge of the Cuyahoga River Valley.


9 posted on 07/10/2010 2:41:46 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

Yeah, it’s ridiculous that they won’t let me shoot my gun in the town square. They stopped me even before they determined whether I’d hit anyone...can you believe it?!


10 posted on 07/10/2010 2:42:19 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Willie Green

—more parts-per-trillion hogwash from the environmental nutcase crowd-—


11 posted on 07/10/2010 2:42:56 PM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: RobbyS

If a fracking leak was really that dangerous to cattle, 90% of the cattle in Texas would be dead. Heck its common for ranchers to be happy to get drilling pit water spread over their pastures. Even if there is a saltwater spill on the pasture, unless its ongoing, there’s little harm to cattle or the grasses. Just because they let us eat em, don’t mean they’re stupid enough to drink poison water!


12 posted on 07/10/2010 2:43:52 PM PDT by dusttoyou (libs are all wee wee'd up and no place to go)
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To: Willie Green
And as this article on Civil Eats suggests, even heavily regulated fracking could be enough to destroy much of New York's Hudson Valley farmland. After all, how many cattle quarantines or lost crops does it take to put a farmer out of business? Answer: not many.

Migration of fruits, nuts, and flakes out of New York City is a far greater threat to the Hudson Valley than fracking!

13 posted on 07/10/2010 2:44:07 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: RobbyS

My guess is that the Whitehouse is “Obama approving” every negative article that can be written for oil, gas, coal etc...He still doesn’t get it....WE ALL USE ALL OF THESE IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.


14 posted on 07/10/2010 2:45:06 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (What)
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To: dusttoyou

LOL...it’s not necessarily the cattle or grasses that are harmed...it’s the red-blooded American carnivores who eat them!

I had a site (not fracking, but another “harmless waste” case) where the family stopped eating their own cattle when they started having more and more cancer in the family..but that didn’t stop them from selling their stock to others.


15 posted on 07/10/2010 2:47:02 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring

(That case was in Iowa...not implying Texas.)


16 posted on 07/10/2010 2:48:21 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring

Strata where water is are likely to be segregated. Yes, contamination does happen, but not often, and if it does it is because —as in the Gulf—some bookkeeper was trying to cut corners. Better get used to relatively clean water. Human beings, really, have never known anything else.


17 posted on 07/10/2010 2:52:45 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: Willie Green

Natural gas comes in contact with humans and livestock every day. Its why it is called natural.


18 posted on 07/10/2010 2:53:54 PM PDT by edcoil (OK, so what's the speed of dark?)
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To: Willie Green

Upon what premises, and with what level of animal contamination was this action taken?

It sounds like GangGreen bureaucrats doing another Cloward/Piven action.


19 posted on 07/10/2010 2:54:06 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: Willie Green
First livestock quarantine EVER for a gas spew. Hmmmmm

Sabotage!!

20 posted on 07/10/2010 2:54:45 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (What)
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To: Willie Green

What we have here is the latest fad among tight sphinctered women who insist on making a difference and are very gullible
They tire of the old water monitoring where they wade in creeks and count larvae.

They are all American enemies of the very worst sort. They are unfit to breathe American air or drink American water


21 posted on 07/10/2010 2:55:24 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... The winds of war are freshening)
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To: Sacajaweau

Yep - there is a bigger picture here. The Administration is trying to cripple virtually all domestic energy sources that are economically feasible in their rush to kill the economy and push the bogus “green energy” agenda. I was only being slightly facetious in my earlier response - fracking truly is a cost/benefit issue. The idea of injecting chemicals underground raises issues; however, the track record of fracking is very good when you consider that the chemicals are usually being injected thousands of feet below the water table. Certainly it needs to be monitored, but these scare stories are designed to kill the practice, which has the effect of putting off limits VAST amounts of domestic energy sources. Just what’s going on with the BP Gulf disaster - clearly something has gone very, very wrong there, but thousands of wells have been drilled without this consequence. Looks like BP cut corners and deserves every liability it incurs, but is that a reason to kill offshore drilling? Only if you ignore cost/benefit analysis and are trying to pursue a greater Marxist agenda.


22 posted on 07/10/2010 2:58:55 PM PDT by rockvillem
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To: RobbyS

Darn - we may have to do what the forefathers did, drink beer.


23 posted on 07/10/2010 3:00:18 PM PDT by huldah1776
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

Sometime the purists are right. Smoking is very bad for your health. Still for hundreds of years, it wasn’t what killed people, and it gave lots of people a drug that made them function better. It is a dangerous world. I’d be more worried about T.B. that is resistant to drugs. We are always at war with nature. We win battles, but never the war.


24 posted on 07/10/2010 3:00:35 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

Sometime the purists are right. Smoking is very bad for your health. Still for hundreds of years, it wasn’t what killed people, and it gave lots of people a drug that made them function better. It is a dangerous world. I’d be more worried about T.B. that is resistant to drugs. We are always at war with nature. We win battles, but never the war.


25 posted on 07/10/2010 3:00:35 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: Willie Green

I’m in the Marcellus region. There is also a lot of shallow well activity in which fracking is used. There have been wells contaminated. By far most are not. The Oil company is liable for any problems. They are required to notify the surface owners and test any wells within 1000’.


26 posted on 07/10/2010 3:01:24 PM PDT by Kinzua (Are you ready to admit that electing Obama was a mistake?)
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To: Willie Green

After the AGW scam, who can believe anything “scientists” from green (RED) sources say, anyway?

Any lie to advance the left agenda of destroying capitalism!


27 posted on 07/10/2010 3:02:06 PM PDT by JimRed (To water the Tree of Liberty is to excise a cancer before it kills us. TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: huldah1776

I always do that when I go overseas. Good for the digestion, too.


28 posted on 07/10/2010 3:03:14 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: jessduntno
The fracking gubmint keeps expanding and we’re all fracked...

the gubmint can get fracked

29 posted on 07/10/2010 3:05:11 PM PDT by upsdriver (ret.)
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To: Willie Green

Urban legend scare story. Everything and anything can kill you. There is no total safety guarantee, government regs or no. Don’t move off your couch. You might die. IF you don’t move off your couch you might die. Good luck.


30 posted on 07/10/2010 3:05:16 PM PDT by SaxxonWoods (Gone Galt and loving it)
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To: Willie Green

The article is utter nonsense by fear-mongers with political agendas.

Fracking is benign...and is commonplace in Texas...land of cattle.

Fracking takes place **MILES**, yes, Miles beneath drinking water. Fracking is entirely safe at those depths.


31 posted on 07/10/2010 3:05:57 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: JimRed

Greens are often the kind of people who would get freaked if they had to kill a chicken, and clean it for the pot. But they don’t mind picking it up wrapped in a grocery store.


32 posted on 07/10/2010 3:08:16 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: RobbyS

In point of fact, in much of the world, like the Third World and the T*rd World areas, water is usually not safe to drink.

Only in developed nations where pollution can be controlled, and water purified, does man have safe water.

In most of America, do NOT drink directly from surface water. Parasites and diseases are common in surface waters.

Tap water, on the other hand is treated and IS safe. Technology, and Western societies - science based, linear logic, patriarchal culture - gotta love ‘em.


33 posted on 07/10/2010 3:09:23 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: Southack

An oil and gas company recently fracked a “shallow” well on my property, just over 200’ horizontally (min by law) from my water well. They drilled to a depth of about 2500’ and fracked in several zones from that depth upward. In this case, less than 1/2 mile down. I still have a great water well (tested). I don’t really care for the eyesore though.


34 posted on 07/10/2010 3:10:35 PM PDT by Kinzua (Are you ready to admit that electing Obama was a mistake?)
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To: Willie Green

Can’t drill our own oil...

Can’t drill for our own natural gas...

Yep - energy independence is REALLY what the LEFT wants (/extremesarcasm off)


35 posted on 07/10/2010 3:17:33 PM PDT by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: Kinzua

You haven’t filled out your profile, so I have no idea what state you are in. Or country.

By and large, shallow oil is gone. Deep oil is still plentiful.


36 posted on 07/10/2010 3:17:54 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: GladesGuru

The sanitation engineer is civilization’s unsung hero. It occurs to me I know of many famous people who contributed to “progress” but I don’t know the name of the men who created the water/sewerage system for the City of London/New York. But their achievement was as important as that of the men who built the Panama Canal.


37 posted on 07/10/2010 3:18:49 PM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger; Willie Green
Indeed, this latest episode, despite the fact that the cattle don't yet seem to have been harmed, will give little comfort to those who have to listen to industry assurances of safety. Would you want to eat cows that have been dining in fields covered in benzene and diesel fuel?

- The cows haven't been harmed... so why the quarantine??

- Benzene and diesel fuel come from fracking?? Isn't diesel fuel a refined product? Is there a naturally occurring refinery underground?

38 posted on 07/10/2010 3:20:28 PM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: DTogo
Petroleum diesel, also called petrodiesel,[5] or fossil diesel is produced from the fractional distillation of crude oil between 200 °C (392 °F) and 350 °C (662 °F) at atmospheric pressure, resulting in a mixture of carbon chains that typically contain between 8 and 21 carbon atoms per molecule.[6]
39 posted on 07/10/2010 3:23:17 PM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: Gondring
Thanks for the heads up. I was trying to find more specifics for the waste water release near the cattle and ran across some articles that might interest you. The first was very interesting in that it states: "In Pennsylvania, more than three million residents rely on private wells for essential sources of potable water – second most in the entire nation behind Michigan.": About that Water in Your Well That's a lot of wells, and it says that 20,000 new wells are drilled every year in PA! So, I can see the concern for protecting the ground water. But the head of the DEP has posted some observations that fracking is having no impact: In His Own Words: PA DEP Regulator Separates Fact from Fiction on the Marcellus I would be interested to know what you think of these articles, which seem to be from the pro-drilling faction. I am still seeking any technical reports regarding the issue, but it is slow going.
40 posted on 07/10/2010 3:24:51 PM PDT by epithermal
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To: SaxxonWoods

While I am sick of the Left’s full frontal assault on this nation, facking DOES cause issues (though I’m not saying the initial post falls in that category).

Right here in Arkansas - in the “Fayetteville Shale Fields”, there are landowners who have had reliable and good clean wells for a very long time - that once gas drilling with the accompanying fracturing came along, their wells went from good water to water with definite oily residue, off-color sediment, strong sulfur smell, and really awful taste. Others, even relatively closer to the drilling sites have had no change in their well water.

But the point is - it CAN cause troubles (we are dealing with semi-unpredictable layers of rock). Maybe some of those folks with the spoiled wells were close to having troubles anyway - who knows, but regardless, it is hard to ignore it when wells turn bad so quickly after being clean for so long.

WE have to get our energy from somewhere - and windmills can only provide so much from a practical standpoint. WE must utilize the energy sources God gave us -in as reasonable and safe a manner as we can. Going cheap on safety equipment while drilling 5000+ foot wells in the Gulf is a bad idea. Widespread drilling and fracking also has risks. But the option is to just sell what little remains of our national sovereignty and way of life and join the 3rd world. What will it be?


41 posted on 07/10/2010 3:27:39 PM PDT by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: Willie Green
It's a loud of crap, IMHO.

They've been fracking the hell out of us here in North Central Texas (Barnett Shale) with no problem. In fact I think this was one of the areas where extensive horizontal hydraulic fracturing was pioneered. I live in a semirural, mixed in with residential, area with some streams, some agriculture (cattle, hayfields) and various other mixed land usage. There are fracking wells all over the place, and no real problems.

It's pretty much only the hippie leftists down in Austin, and the occassional fear mongering journalist, pitching the horror stories.

42 posted on 07/10/2010 3:31:21 PM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Willie Green

Over 40 posts and not a single Battlestar Galactica picture. You people disappoint me.


43 posted on 07/10/2010 3:31:21 PM PDT by Sloth (Civil disobedience? I'm afraid only the uncivil kind is going to cut it this time.)
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To: Willie Green

The the article is about something that MIGHT happen?

Is there any basis for this?


44 posted on 07/10/2010 3:35:37 PM PDT by sneakers
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To: Southack

So a bunch of cows will drink water containing methane hydrate and smell worse than usual while blowing out farts and explosive cowpies?


45 posted on 07/10/2010 3:40:22 PM PDT by BobS
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To: Stultis

They've been fracking the hell out of us here in North Central Texas (Barnett Shale) with no problem.
There are fracking wells all over the place, and no real problems.

Flaming faucets alarm North Texas family

46 posted on 07/10/2010 3:49:37 PM PDT by Willie Green (Save Money: Build High-Speed Rail & Maglev and help permanently ground Air Force One!!!)
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To: Gondring
If they ceased eating their own without testing to substantiate contamination causing cancers, they obviously voted for nobama in 2008.
47 posted on 07/10/2010 4:03:59 PM PDT by dusttoyou (libs are all wee wee'd up and no place to go)
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To: Sloth

Mmmm. Fracking.

48 posted on 07/10/2010 4:12:50 PM PDT by Egon (The difference between Theory and Practice: In Theory, there is no difference.)
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To: Willie Green
"The holding pond was collecting flowback water from the hydraulic fracturing process on a well being drilled by East Resources Inc. Grass was killed in a roughly 30-foot-by-40-foot area where the wastewater pooled. Although no cows were seen drinking the wastewater, tracks were found throughout the pool, and the cattle had access to it for at least three days until the gas company erected a snow fence around it. Testing showed the wastewater contained chloride, iron, sulfate, barium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, strontium and calcium. Redding said the main element of concern is the heavy metal strontium, which can be toxic to humans, especially children.": Cattle may have drunk well water Since the article doesn't list concentrations of contaminants, it is impossible to tell if they exceeded drinking water standards for cattle. The report by the company contained a little more information: East Resources Inc Questions Basis for PA Department of Agriculture Cattle Quarantine Appears to be much ado about nothing. FYI, strontium is a common element is present most everywhere from 100-1400 ppm : GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF ELEMENTS
49 posted on 07/10/2010 4:15:55 PM PDT by epithermal
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To: Egon
Mmmm. Fracking.

Hope someone cleans the crumb tray...
50 posted on 07/10/2010 4:25:44 PM PDT by Dr.Zoidberg (Warning: Sarcasm/humor is always engaged. Failure to recognize this may lead to misunderstandings.)
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