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Sunday, July 21, 2013



"DOE study: Fracking chemicals didn't taint water" 


Get ready for the ridiculousness.

How many times do you think this "landmark" study will be mentioned at next weeks Mining and Energy Committee meetings? I know my extended family pretty well, and I am fairly certain that it will be mentioned at least 10 times. The $64,000 question is, will anyone mention that these findings are from ONE site, and only from ONE year. It can also be assumed that Echelon, the owner of the well which allowed tracers to be used and some monitoring would not volunteer a problematic site. 

Cracks in the report:

The biggest fracture is that the study is confined to one site which was volunteered, additionally, study results are premature and give a skewed picture of the significance of the findings.

Dr. Rob Jackson from Duke University says:

"He called it a "useful and important approach" to monitoring fracking, but cautioned that the single study doesn't prove that fracking can't pollute, since geology and industry practices vary widely in Pennsylvania and across the nation."

Where can the study be reviewed?:

I tried to find the actual results, and have not been successful. Industry tends to cherry-pick studies, kind of like picking your sins.

Little Information on the site:

No information on how long the well has been in operation, it could be too early to tell.

North Carolina's Shale Deposits Are Different:

The shale in North Carolina is not located as deeply as others. The Cumnock Formation is less than 3000 feet down in Lee and Chatham Counties. In some places it is above ground.
Link Here:

Ummm this is important?:

In some media accounts, this wasn't even reported on.

"Seismic monitoring determined one hydraulic fracture traveled 1,800 feet out from the well bore; most traveled just a few hundred feet. That's significant because some environmental groups have questioned whether the fractures could go all the way to the surface. The researchers believe that fracture may have hit naturally occurring faults, and that's something both industry and regulators don't want."

The Triassic basin is highly fractured and contains diabase dikes: "The groundwater system is composed of weathered regolith material at land surface (Chapman and others, 2005) and underlying bedrock sedimentary rock layers . Differential weathering along lithologic contacts and bedding planes may enhance permeability in the aquifer. Additionally, secondary features including faults, joints, and diabase dikes may enhance permeability through openings, associated fracturing, or weathering near these features. The presence of diabase dikes suggests potential "cooking" of the natural gas, but can often be a boundary for subsurface flow and "pooling" of groundwater." USGS

Link Here:

From where I sit, I wonder if I can throw one of those flags every time I hear somebody crowing about this very limited study. You know the flag...


  1. Great blog Therese , I live right on top of the Jonesboro fault and around a 100yards from a propane pipeline so this really does scare me.