SRBC Piles Up the Evidence Against Fractivists

NEPA Energy - Johnny Williams Johnny Williams
Freelance Journalist

 

The water quality database being built up by the Susquehanna Basin River Commission or SRBC is, whether or not they realize it, destroying fractivists.

Another day, another week, another study, and the waters of Pennsylvania continue to flow unabated and unaffected by natural gas operations. It’s getting rather redundant, but the more environmentalists look for evidence that operations in the Marcellus Shale negatively affect water, the more evidence is piled on to the contrary by one river basin commission actually doing its job – the SRBC.

The fact that responsible drilling and hydraulic fracturing does not pollute watersheds should be old news by now, especially after the EPA fracking study, but protests continue undeterred and oblivious to the growing library of facts, the latest of which comes from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC).

SRBC

SRBC water quality testing sites throughout drilling areas in Northeast PA

“We had written to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission asking for a comprehensive water quality study of the Susquehanna River Basin to assess the effects of drilling activity,” Thomas Au, conservation chairman of the PA chapter of the Sierra Club, said in this Daily Review story. “This is not the water quality study we asked for.”

In other words, the SRBC didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear. Instead, the SRBC gave them the truth: there was no evidence that Marcellus Shale operations impacted watersheds. Here’s SRBC Executive Director Andrew Dehoff:

“The Commission takes very seriously one of its core functions of monitoring water quality conditions in the streams and rivers of the Susquehanna Basin. This third report provides more information on the data collected as part of the Commission’s effort to evaluate whether or not water quality conditions in streams are reflecting impacts associated with natural gas drilling.”

The study used data collection equipment and sensors to measure water quality at 58 different watersheds every five minutes from 2010 to 2013. Ten of the watersheds were monitored in New York, which at the time did not (and still doesn’t) allow hydraulic fracturing.

The SRBC press release notes the key points of the study:

  • With continuous monitoring from 2010-2013, data collected did not indicate any changes in water quality;
  • With a few exceptions, the water chemistry at the monitoring stations indicates good water quality
  • The results of aquatic insect monitoring were not affected by the density of upstream natural gas wells or pads.

SRBCInterestingly enough, according to the Daily Review article, SRBC Monitoring and Protection Program Manager Jamie Shallenberger noted the monitoring stations did pick up impacts from “acid mine drainage and agricultural activity.” It turns out cows have a greater impact on watersheds than natural gas activity. Perhaps Marcellus Shale Coalition president Dave Spigelmyer said it best after issuing the following statement regarding SRBC’s findings.

“Once again this year, SRBC’s data – as well as other studies, including EPA’s exhaustive hydraulic fracturing study released in June – not only reflects the strong, rigorous and modernized regulations in place that ensure environmental protection but also the industry’s focus and commitment to continuous operational improves, especially related to groundwater protection and effective water management best practices.”

The SRBC plans to continue to monitor existing stations as well as install new ones along more watersheds, which will likely only add to the already mountainous heap of evidence and facts that go against the thinking of fractivists.

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9 thoughts on “SRBC Piles Up the Evidence Against Fractivists

  1. “About the Susquehanna River Basin Commission
    The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based SRBC is the governing agency established under a 100-year compact signed on Dec. 24, 1970, by the federal government and the states of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland to protect and wisely manage the water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin. The Susquehanna River starts in Cooperstown, New York, and flows 444 miles to Havre de Grace, Maryland, where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay.”

    http://www.srbc.net/newsroom/NewsRelease.aspx?NewsReleaseID=144

    From their website it seems that this river basin commission shares something in common with the DRBC. Is there any substantive way that the two commissions are different?

    http://lancasteronline.com/news/susquehanna-river-getting-healthier-report-says/article_8a4025ab-8855-5025-9f0c-246cf7fff342.html There is a reporter, Ad Crable writing I think in 2013 about improvements in health in the susquehanna river during natural gas development in the area.

    http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_25656630/protestors-gather-at-meeting-lancaster-about-proposed-pipeline There he is covering what a pipeline opponent says ” is not hyperbole. This is an assault on our land and way of life,”

    http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/gas-pipeline-review-is-the-decision-already-made-by-ferc/article_6eea10d4-eab9-11e4-b612-17897b285ecc.html And there is an article on pipeline permitting and FERC from 2015. Is the knowledge level and reporting going up or down?

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  2. Just a bunch of BS ! Makes a good story for pro frackers ,,,,maybe you need to read the EPA study Page ES -23 Conclusion ….Here …Conclusions
    Through this national-level assessment, we have identified potential mechanisms by which
    hydraulic fracturing could affect drinking water resources. Above ground mechanisms can affect
    surface and ground water resources and include water withdrawals at times or in locations of low
    water availability, spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid and chemicals or produced water, and
    inadequate treatment and discharge of hydraulic fracturing wastewater. Below ground mechanisms
    include movement of liquids and gases via the production well into underground drinking water
    resources and movement of liquids and gases from the fracture zone to these resources via
    pathways in subsurface rock formations.
    We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on
    drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report,
    we found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking
    water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The cases occurred during both
    routine activities and accidents and have resulted in impacts to surface or ground water. Spills of
    hydraulic fracturing fluid and produced water in certain cases have reached drinking water
    resources, both surface and ground water. Discharge of treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater has
    increased contaminant concentrations in receiving surface waters. Below ground movement of
    fluids, including gas, most likely via the production well, have contaminated drinking water
    resources. In some cases, hydraulic fracturing fluids have also been directly injected into drinking
    water resources,

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  3. ” we found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking
    water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The cases occurred during both
    routine activities and accidents and have resulted in impacts to surface or ground water “…….!!! EPA study on oil and Gas affects on drinking Water .

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    • @ Vic ….I guess you just refuse to read the truth ! Before you promote anything find out what really goes on instead of making things up !

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  4. ” we found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking
    water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The cases occurred during both
    routine activities and accidents and have resulted in impacts to surface or ground water “…….!!! EPA study on oil and Gas affects on drinking Water .

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