Our Hot Mess: Can we let this happen? No fracking way.
There is something happening across the entire country causing toxic air pollution, increased risks of cancer and birth defects, and an unprecedented number of earthquakes. Earthquakes happening in places like Ohio that had no record of regular quakes until this something started happening. And this something is coming to Lancaster County.
Hydraulic fracturing of shale to extract natural gas - fracking - is a dangerous and rather unnecessary way to get energy. Wells are drilled to the desired depth, turned 90 degrees, and continued until they reach the location believed to house the natural gas. Initial fracking requires anywhere from 6,000 to 600,000 gallons of water, but additional water for future use for one well can get up to 8 million gallons. So all of this fluid is pumped down under high pressure to break up the shale formations, releasing most of the natural gas stored so that -- in Lancaster’s case -- the major energy company Williams may build and operate a pipeline, a pipeline that will allow gas producers to ship overseas.
But like many too-good-to-be-true systems, this seemingly innocuous process comes back to hurt us. Water makes up about 99.2% of fracking fluid, and hazardous chemicals like barium, chromium, and mercury are what we have to deal with in the wastewater. Only 30-50% of the fracking fluid - the wastewater - is even recovered for disposal by the the companies pumping it down. That means the amount that is recovered from the fracking process is either deep-injected into long term stores under ground or accidently released during the process into nearby groundwater. Methane concentrations are 17x higher in wells near fracturing sites than in normal wells. That means our drinking water is potentially becoming contaminated.
People are being hospitalized for these no good effects of fracking. Increased hospitalizations for skin conditions, cancer, and urological problems. Why are we letting this happen?
And now all of these lovely earthquake and toxic water additions get to come to Lancaster County. The Atlantic Sunrise Project would add 183 miles of pipeline. We would be in the impact area of one specific Central Penn Line South, a considerable 42” high pressure distribution line.
|The proposed route of the pipeline|
Image courtesy of LNP
This is causing chaos and devastation.
|Image courtesy of LancasterPipeline.org|
Long story short, we need to make sure that FERC, the commission saying yay or nay to the proposed pipelines, denies Williams the path to make it all happen. FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is currently analyzing the proposed pipeline paths and is set to make a decision by April 2016. So we need to get involved in this discussion. Go to Lancaster Against Pipelines meetings. Talk to family members, friends, coworkers. Chances are you will hear personal stories of how landowners have been affected already.
Please spread awareness of these injustices and join Lancaster Against Pipelines.
Presentation: Lancaster’s Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline in the Global Marketplace
- Wednesday, November 04, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Where: Student Memorial Center, Room 24, Millersville University in Millersville, PA
- Thursday, November 05, 2015 at 7:00 PM
Where: Lisa Bonchek Adams Auditorium, Kaufman Hall, F&M College in Lancaster, PA
Hydraulic Fracturing: The Process
Hydraulic Fracturing: The Process
--Elke Arnesen, LSNews.org Columnist