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This is a big story.  You can help spread the word via twitter.  But, before we get excited here, this is the EPA's "Progress Report" which will be followed by further studies, yaddy yadda yadda.  You might detect some dismay in this diary because, according to this EPA Progress Report "Many of the data come directly from the oil and gas industry and states with high levels of oil and gas activity."  Mostly from only nine (9) companies.  After all that has happened with "self-reporting" by industries, it's difficult to understand why the EPA would rely on the industry and states depending on a continual flow of these two cash crops for data.  

In short, EPA is saying they have relied heavily on the oil/gas industry and the states experiencing an economic boom from the fracking industry.  The Progress report is the BEGINNING of a much longer process which includes several other steps before EPA concludes whether or not fracking might have a negative impact on drinking water.  

EPA's Full Report isn't Due Out until 2014

The fact that the early progress report did not contain anything significantly negative is likely an encouraging sign for the fracking lobby.
Therefore, it's easy to conclude that, by the time all the designated experts chime in, it will be too late to save water in present heavily fracked areas.  

Most now know that Fracking is exempt from key federal environmental regulations, thanks to a Bush Era ruling, known as the "Hallibuton Loophole."  No surprise there.  Halliburton fracked back in the late 1940s.

We can guess that Cheney and the oil/gas secret energy meetings included some fracking chit chat.

Here's why I am concerned.  I know people working in the fracking fields.  I know that liners for fracking waste water leaks. I know that some waste water ponds don't even have linings.  I know workers wear dosimeters to make sure they aren't exposed to too much radiation.  Do an Edit/Find search after opening the EPA Report for the word "radionuclides" (14 hits and defined on Page 259).  I know trucks crash and spill the toxic waste on road sides. I know wells fail and spew oil spills.  Anyone who knows people working in the fields can confirm what a mess it is out there.  There are also no lack of people reporting problems with their drinking water, like the famous video of faucet water being ignited by the home owner.

Apparently, such demonstrations like these are not scientific enough proof for the EPA.

Whiting North Dakota oil spill reported

Oil spill threatens Killdeer city well

That said I am CALLING ALL SCIENTISTS here on DKos to read through this first stage of EPA's just released start up reporting on the POSSIBLE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF FRACKING ON DRINKING WATER

Matt Damon is releasing his FRACKING Movie, Promised Land.  Here's the trailer

Promised Land TRAILER (2012) - Matt Damon Movie HD

At the end of this diary is an exciting Google Earth Tool that shows where thousands of fracking welsl are located, many on the banks of major drinking water sources.  If you click on one of the green frowny faced disks, it will tell you which company owns the well, etc.  The instructions are included.

Actually EPA completed a report on August 14, 2011* (professionals from the Yucca Mountain project assisted).  I'm not sure if or whether the 2011 report impacts last week's report.  More on the 2011 report below.

From EPAs 2012 report:

In 2011, the EPA began research under its Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources. The purpose of the study is to assess 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. Scientists are focusing primarily on hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas, with some study of other oil- and gas-producing formations, including tight sands, and coalbeds.

The EPA has designed the scope of the research around five stages of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle. Each stage of the cycle is associated with a primary research question:

Water acquisition: impacts of large volume water withdrawals from ground and surface waters on drinking water resources?

Chemical mixing: impacts of hydraulic fracturing fluid surface spills on or near well pads on drinking water resources?

Well injection:  impacts of the injection and fracturing process on drinking water resources?

Flowback and produced water: What are the possible impacts of flowback and produced water (collectively referred to as “hydraulic fracturing wastewater”) surface spills on or near well pads on drinking water resources?

Wastewater treatment and waste disposal: What are the possible impacts of inadequate treatment of hydraulic fracturing wastewater on drinking water resources?

YES, there are hopes, even designs,  of fracking water treatment plants producing water that can be released back into the area.

The baselines for the study are quite limited, as if the variables for what could go wrong are not infinite in scope:

Data from multiple sources have been obtained for review and analysis.

Many of the data come directly from the oil and gas industry and states with high levels of oil and gas activity.

Information on the chemicals and practices used in hydraulic fracturing has been collected from nine companies that hydraulically fractured a total of 24,925 wells between September 2009 and October 2010.

Additional data on chemicals and water use for hydraulic fracturing are being pulled from over 12,000 well-specific chemical disclosures in FracFocus, a national hydraulic fracturing chemical registry operated by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commisson.

Only nine companies?  Good grief!  Which companies?

Here's the list of companies operating in just North Dakota, from a state website.

Current North Dakoa Well List

There are a lot more than nine companies listed.

I think anyone with common sense knows the inherent danger of destroying water in the fracking process.  It takes millions of gallons of water that is mixed with a chemical cocktail to drill each well!

We also know that the economy of North Dakota will tank if any proof of contamination is reported by the EPA.  No danger of that happening right away.  By the time the EPA and the industry experts massage the information, the drillers and hoards of workers will have moved on to new territory to drill baby drill, turning the USA into swiss cheese.

What could possibly go wrong?

The Sierra Club tries to answer that question in this article

Fracking Missouri River Water?

The six reservoirs along the river currently provide water storage primarily for flood control, reservoir recreation and releases for navigation. But the Corps' recent notice proposes that portions of the reservoir space be available for purchase by industry. That industry is assumed to include major demands from fracking interests.
Is there any question that the Missouri River is already providing millions and millions of gallons of water for fracking in North Dakota?


AGAIN, CALLING ALL SCIENTISTS - The EPA has done some work already.  In this document there is a list of fracking components.

Title: Hydraulic Fracturing Retrospective Case Study, Bakken Shale, Killdeer and Dunn County, ND - August, 2011

In this document this list of fracking chemicals is included on pages 41 - 42:

Fracking Fluid Components Page 1 0f 2
Fracking Fluid Components - Page 2 of 4
Fracking Fluid Components - Page 3 of 3

Well it's nice to see one FRACKING FLUID REPORT.

***  M U S T   S E E  ***

In the 2012 EPA report the list of FRACKING FLUID COMPONENTS can be found on pags 194 - 244

Check them out.


Also this is an amazing amount of work:

Someone has created a Google Earth map of FRACKING WELLS.  This is interative.

Open this website:

Click on FRACKING AMERICA and wait for the Green discs to appear

Just above the upper left bar that says EARTH, MOON, MARS etc, CLICK on the red Joy Stick to the right so the NAVIGATION TOOLS will appear.

In the upper right hand corner, you can click on the first icon on the left to get rid of whatever that guys name is playing Dr. Evil.

Then zoom in and you will find the DETAILED INFORMATION for each well.

As importantly, and more sadly, and especially in North Dakota, you will see that fracking wells are literally along the banks of the Missouri River and the huge reservoirs behind the dams controlling the flow of the great Missouri.

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