Special hearing for proposed oil drilling begins


As Reported by WBBH-TV – updated 2/25/2014 4:21:13 PM ET 2014-02-25T21:21:13

It’s only the first day of a legal fight over oil drilling in Collier County and conversations are already heated.

Protestors from two groups are trying to convince a judge to block the Dan A. Hughes Company from drilling near houses in Golden Gate Estates.

This is the biggest hurdle they’ve faced so far in this battle. There is no jury — just a state judge who will rule on whether to allow the drilling.

“My reaction is I’m worried. I’m worried that the information that should be there is not there,” said Matt Schwartz, South Florida Wildlands Association.

Oil can mean big profit, but some claim searching for it comes with dangers like hydrogen sulfide gas leaks.

“Accidents will happen. We are not prepared. We meaning the people who live in the area and the responders are not prepared,” said Joe Mule, President of Preserve Our Paradise.

Today an administrative judge listened to eight hours of tedious testimony.

“The experts that Dan A. Hughes will provide will be the only experts with mud on their hands, on the ground, oil and gas industry experience,” said a representative for Dan A. Hughes Company.

First up, the oil company focused on its research, planning and proven track record. Read more click here: Special hearing for proposed oil drilling begins.

EPA Opens Public Comment until April 30, 2013

In response to public concern, the U.S. Congress urged EPA to conduct scientific research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. EPA is undertaking a study to understand the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, if any, and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of such impacts.

The scope of the study includes the full hydraulic fracturing water lifecycle—from water acquisition, through the mixing of chemicals and injection of fracturing fluids, to the post-fracturing stage, including the management of flowback and produced water and its ultimate treatment and disposal. The study will include a review of the published literature, analysis of existing data, scenario evaluation and modeling, laboratory studies and case studies.

To ensure that EPA is up-to-date on evolving hydraulic fracturing practices and technologies, EPA is soliciting public involvement in identifying relevant data and scientific literature specific to inform EPA’s research study on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. While EPA conducts a thorough literature search, there may be studies or other primary technical sources that are not available through the open literature. EPA would appreciate receiving information from the public to help inform current and future research and ensure a robust record of scientific information. Consistent with our commitment to using the highest quality information, EPA prefers information which has been peer reviewed. Interested persons may provide scientific analyses, studies and other pertinent scientific information. EPA will consider all submissions but will give preference to peer reviewed data and literature sources.[1]

Using the online method is preferred for submitting information.  Follow the online instructions at http://www.regulations.gov, and identify your submission with Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-0674.

Additional methods for submission are:

  • Email:      Send information by electronic mail (email) to: ord.docket@epa.gov, Attention      Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-0674.
  • Fax:      Fax information to: (202) 566-9744, Attention Docket ID No.      EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-0674.
  • Mail:      Send information by mail to: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA      Docket Center, Mail Code: 28221T, 1200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington,      DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-0674.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver information to: EPA Docket Center, EPA West      Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC, Attention      Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-0674. Deliveries are only accepted during      the docket’s normal hours of operation, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.      (Eastern), Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Special      arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

For further information contact Lisa Matthews, Mail Code 8101R, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; via phone/voice mail at: (202) 564-6669; via fax at: (202) 565-2430; or via email at: matthews.lisa@epa.gov

[1] Dated: November 5, 2012. E. Ramona Trovato, Associate Assistant Administrator, Office of Research and Development.  https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/11/09/2012-27452/request-for-information-to-inform-hydraulic-fracturing-research-related-to-drinking-water-resources#h-4


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Another City Bans Fracking


Almost exactly nine months ago on May 22, 2012, I wrote an editorial in the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper, Fort Colllins Should Ban Fracking. And yesterday, on Feb. 19, a sharply divided Fort Collins City Council voted 5-2 to ban fracking in the City of Fort Collins.

Nine months ago the conversation around fracking was relatively new in Colorado and few people and environmental groups were directly addressing it. Now, nine months later, very much has changed-fracking is in the news constantly, many environmental groups are engaged in the fight to stop fracking and the issue is escalating wildly throughout the public across the state.

What has changed in a mere nine months?

First, the threat of fracking has increased dramatically across the residential areas of the Front Range of Colorado. The Niobrara Shale geological formation underlies much of the landscape from Fort Collins all the way around suburban Denver and 150 miles south to Colorado Springs. The advent of horizontal drilling and horizontal hydraulic fracturing technology has allowed hundreds of thousands of acres of land to be leased and eventually fracked. Much of this land is squeezing up against suburban homes, neighborhoods and even schools, and those residents are speaking out in an increasingly feverish pitch. In fact, one of the biggest segments of the population speaking out as “fracktivists” is suburban mothers. And as we see in many types of politics in a purple state like Colorado, when suburban moms take up an issue, elected officials really start to pay attention.

Second, a few activists-in part let by retired U.S. Environment Protection Agency “whistleblower” and Gasland movie star Wes Wilson-started touring the state giving dozens and dozens of presentations to local government officials, local homeowners groups and local activists about the threat of fracking. These activists spent hundreds of hours (and miles) pressing the case that fracking is a serious concern, and left unregulated, fracking could turn many suburban communities into mirrors of Weld County, Colorado (in the northern part of the state) which has more active oil and gas wells (more than 18,000) than any county in the U.S. With those wells has come health problems, air quality problems, water pollution problems, water supply problems, social problems, real estate problems and financial problems. No surprise, but this exploitative extractive industry tends to take the oil and gas-as well as all of the money-and leaves local governments and people with pollution and financial trouble in its wake.   Read the full article here.

via Fort Collins Bans Fracking as Democracy Comes Alive in Colorado.
“If you don’t fight for what you want, you deserve what you get.” -Van Jones