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RETROSPECTIVE (2008 to mid 2011)

The Invasion Begins

Seismic Testing

Truck Traffic and Road Damage

Drilling Begins on My Neighbor's Land

Spring 2011

Summer 2011

 

CURRENT

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January-February 2012

March-April 2012

May-June 2012

October -December 2012

January - August 2013

Ponderings from Pandora's Box

Chloe Kelly's Journal of Living with Unconventional Gas Drilling

OCT 2012

Oct 11: DEP now plugging nearby abandoned gas well that may have been intercepted by one of Chesapeake's frack jobs.

The October 11th newsletter of the Responsible Drilling Alliance (Williamsport, PA) featured a report “Orphaned Well Being Plugged in Sullivan Co., by RDA members Morgan Myers and Ralph Kisberg. The orphaned well they describe in the excerpt below is the one I've written about in a previous journal entry. My water supply is one of those "several others"

"The Department of Environmental Protection is investigating two methane migration incidents near Chesapeake Energy drilling operations in Forks Township, Sullivan County. One incident occurred in the Black Creek area, and the other near Pleasant Valley Road.

"Although DEP has not yet determined the cause of either methane migration, an abandoned well from the 1950's was discovered around a mile northwest of the Pleasant Valley Road problem area.DEP detected combustible gas at the surface of the ground above the abandoned BJ Broschart well in Forks Township. A township resident reported to RDA that the well was drilled to a depth of 7,000' and never put into production.
 
" 'Since the well is considered an orphaned well, with no viable operator, the department assumed the responsibility of plugging the well through the Orphaned Well Plugging Fund,' said Spadoni.
DEP hired Hydrocarbon Well Services to plug the orphaned well through an emergency contract.
"Had we not taken this action, this well would have simply been added to a list of thousands of orphaned wells waiting to be plugged, and it could have taken many years," said Spadoni.
"We first became aware of the [Pleasant Valley Road] situation through a report from Chesapeake, after the company received a complaint from a resident," said DEP's Community Relations Coordinator Dan Spadoni in an email. "The initial investigation led to the temporary evacuation of the resident due to elevated levels of methane in the basement of the home." Vents and alarms were installed so that the resident could return to the property.
 
"Screening and further investigation in the area identified several other water supplies, including that of the complainant, with elevated levels of methane," said Spadoni.
According to DEP, there were no obvious problems with Chesapeake's nearby Lambert Farms well that would have contributed to the methane migration.
 
I am also aware of the house on Black Creek that's been impacted. It has a high vent standing behind it. You can see it from the road. 
 
Both places are within horse riding distance of me.
 
We've all been just fine around here until the gas drilling industry appeared -- now the water table is filling up with methane, while the industry keeps pointing in any direction but themselves. It makes me crazy.
 
Our tap water continues to be white. I pour it every morning and pray it isn't -- no such luck.
 
Now that the industry has galloped off to "drill-baby-drill" for "wet gas" in Ohio and western PA, it has been SO VERY WONDERFUL to have the roadways back to almost normal as far as traffic goes. I don't have to drive forth in fear of my life round every curve in the road. But I'm still watching new pads and drlling going on around me, and the polluting of our aquifers continues nonetheless. Tragic! There's still plenty of roadwork too, and they're busy putting in pipelines, but nothing like the intensity of the original invasion.
 
I see Cuomo has delayed allowing the industry into NY again. Good for New York! I'd love to believe that some states have their priorities in place.
 
Oct 15: Latest visit from the DEP rep
 
Our DEP rep was here today and found that we have "combustible gas atmospheres" around our well head and in the pipe that leads into the basement, though not in the basement itself.  She feels the next step may be to install one of those horrid tall methane vents depicted in the RDA report.
 
 
DEC 2012
Dec 09: Same old same old for the methane in our water
 
Even though the focus on drilling for methane has supposedly shifted to Western PA and Ohio, they continue to drill and frack all around this area. In fact, just Tuesday night I noticed the lights from three well pads against the night sky.
 
Our faucet water continues to belch white foaming methane bubbles every single day, every single day, every single day -  and the gas company continues to deny responsiblity.
 
We continue to cart in our drinking and cooking water (two years now).
 
I wait until the methane dissipates before doing the dishes, so I'm not breathing it in, but can't do that when I shower. They say methane (other than being highly explosive) isn't toxic, but I've read that it can be detected in the blood so what effect can that have?? 
 
DEP continues to monitor our well for signs in the well head that the methane is increasing to explosive levels within our house. The levels change all the time!  My question is what if it changes and the DEP doesn't notice in time? Then we get to be one of the stats - but who's listening?

Water drawn from our kitchen faucet on August 01, 2012

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