UPDATE be sure to go to the bottom of this post to see Dr Plata’s response in boldface to my questions related to this new study out…
Inside Climate News reported of sampling in 64 private ground water wells 3 to 5 years after the gas wells were drilled that,”…fracking fluids were not moving upward from the Marcellus shale to shallower groundwater aquifers—at least not in the short term“.
Short story here…..due to the extreme build out of fracking every-fracking-where, just the surface spills implicate a sloppy frack habit and a sheer disregard for the public’s health. In Denton, this drilling company posted a phone number that….didn’t fracking work….
NOTE BELOW IN BOLDFACE IS DR PLATA’S RESPONSES…
—- Forwarded Message —–
From: kim feil <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Kevin A. Schug <email@example.com>; Zacariah Hildenbrand <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Buzz Pishkur <email@example.com>; Robert Rivera <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Trey Yelverton <email@example.com>; Charlie Parker <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Lana Wolff <email@example.com>; Robert Shepard <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Jimmy Bennett <email@example.com>; Michael Glaspie <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Sheri Capehart <email@example.com>; Kathryn Wilemon <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Jim Parajon <email@example.com>; Brett Shipp <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Cynthia Simmons <email@example.com>; Jeff Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 1:11 PM
Subject: Q on the study of filtering out plastizers from frack areas
Dr. Plata, thank you and the others involved in this study
Thanks for the inquiry and for reading our work. I’ll respond in line with your questions for clarity.
Specificity I want to verify that your research found NO brine/salts/bromines/iodides, metals, or disturbed NORM pointing to deep water migration risks to shallow aquifers for the short term (whew!), but instead found frac chemicals from PRE-FRACK surface spills (not related to flowback surface spills and not related to produced water surface spills) that somehow got into their ground water wells.
This is correct. The spills were related to hydraulic fracturing activities, but not spills of flowback or produced water. We did not measure iodide, but we did look for brine/salts, bromide, chloride, and NORMs (in a subset of samples). While NORMs were not explicitly noted as a problem in our study via surface spill mechanisms, they are brought to the Earth’s surface in the flowback and produced water (as I am sure you are aware), and Avner’s group has published some nice work in this area.
Thank you for your study as we piece meal different shale water tests to discover constituents that we may need to be screening for that the state or federal government is late to the shale play to be protective of public health as ground water and run off can communicate with surface waters that we treat in our municipal drinking water here in Arlington. We just don’t want an “after the fact” admittance that we should have been screening for these things.
Indeed, the question of what to study is a difficult one. Many contract labs used to measure background water quality target a specific list of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which contains around 54 specific chemicals defined by EPA Method 624. In addition to these traditional methods, 2e took an integrated, non-target approach over a broader chemical range. If we had stopped with Method 624, we would not have seen much of what we were able to detect and certainly not the phthalates.
Because of the lack of government testing mandates, we ALL risk legally drinking effluents from drilling areas our local government could protect us from using Home Rule laws.
I’d like a shopping list of appropriate drilling & fracking related effluents to influence our local leaders of the need to attempt to detect and scrub for to be proactive to this risk….I remember when the pharmaceuticals showed up in our drinking water six years ago…currently this is in the news again and so nothing changed in six years to protect other communities….I aspire to not let this not happen in drilling areas, thanks.
I think it would be valuable to suggest activated carbon as a strategy to treat trace organic components in drinking water, either in homes or at municipal drinking water treatment facilities. While no one has studied all of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing against these types of filters, they are generally able to remove a broad range of hydrophobic organic materials.
All my best,
From: kim feil <email@example.com>
To: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
Cc: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>; Zacariah Hildenbrand <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 2:26 PM
Subject: recycling frack water vs injection wells three studies one conclusion
In looking at your Grand Prairie TX fracking waste water remediation study
, I was concerned that you would suggest they use the leftover salts for our roads and other constituents to be landfill ready.
Please search out Avner Vengosh’s work
on recycling/tracking frack waters and his concerns for radioactivity, “In fact, what we found in another study that we published last year is that even a tiny amount of brine, naturally occurring bromide that’s coming from a spill, could have a devastating effect on communities living downstream from the discharged water, because when communities use surface water, they usually disinfect the water to get rid of bacterial contamination. This disinfection process generates by-products if the water contains two components: One is organic matter, which is common in many of the streams and rivers; the other component is halogen, which means bromide and iodide. We did some experiments with colleagues from Stanford University and showed that a tiny amount of hydraulic fracturing fluid mixed with surface water could trigger the formation of disinfection byproducts. Some components, such as iodinated trihalomethanes, which are extremely toxic, are not being regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and could be generated from the introduction of the wastewater into drinking water utilities. Even a tiny spill with a small amount of the bromide and iodide could trigger the formation of those highly toxic disinfection by-products in drinking water.
Naturally occurring contaminants, including the radioactivity, may have more effects and be more widespread than the manmade chemicals that everybody is making their focus”.
or at least read this by two other authors…
The study appeared in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts….
“However, the presence of various fatty acid phthalate esters in the Barnett and Marcellus produced waters can be related to their use in drilling fluids and breaker additives rather than their presence in connate fluids. Halogen containing compounds are found in each of the water samples, and although the fluorocarbon compounds identified are used as tracers, the presence of chlorocarbons and organobromides formed as a consequence of using chlorine containing oxidants (to remove bacteria from source water), suggests that industry should concentrate on non-chemical treatments of frac and produced waters.”
My conclusion is that unknowns could equate to frack on crack if we throw more chemicals on the stuff. As it is, we saw an appearance of Arsenic in Grand Prairie’s water in 2011 and they do use ground water wells in the summer which the UTA Clear organization found that drilled areas have higher Arsenic levels.
Thank you for your attention to other’s work as a word of caution. Did you ever land that Grand Prairie contract?
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