Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No To Fracking in New York State

The New York State Legislature is coming back to the Capitol this week. Before they leave town again, it’s critical that our lawmakers pass legislation to protect New York and our precious waters from the dangers of industrial gas drilling.
We need state legislators to know that New Yorkers like you are watching and expect our lawmakers to guarantee us safe, clean water.

Call Senate Majority Leader Sampson at 866-403-3551 and Assembly Speaker Silver at 866-374-0409, listen or click here for your script.
Don’t have time to call? Click here to send an email.

It is vitally important that you call leaders in the Senate and Assembly today. Let Senate Majority Leader Sampson and Assembly Speaker Silver know that lawmakers CANNOT leave Albany without passing legislation to protect our waters from natural gas drilling.

The oil and gas industry is eager to drill in New York using a risky technique called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Fracking has the potential to endanger our drinking water. This water-intensive and highly polluting technique has ruined drinking water in Pennsylvania, Colorado and Wyoming. We need to make sure that New York’s waters are safe before drilling begins here.

Legislation that would hold off on drilling permits until the Legislature has time to update our laws has been introduced in both houses. It’s the least our lawmakers can do to protect our drinking water. Call Majority Leader Sampson at 866-403-3551 and Speaker Silver at 866-374-0409 today and ask them to slow the rush to drill.

The Legislature needs to pass legislation to create a time-out on drilling, and they need to do it before they adjourn. Without their action, the Department of Environmental Conservation could begin issuing permits to drill by year’s end using a fatally flawed plan that is not protective of our communities or water.
Call our legislative leaders now and let them know that New York is watching.
Thank you.

Katherine Nadeau
Water & Natural Resources Program Director
Environmental Advocates of New York

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rockin' the Big-Oil & Gas Boat (3rd. Ed.)

Edited from Original FB Posting:

GE developing next generation of solar "thin-film" panels
2 hours ago Friends Only · Comment ·LikeUnlike · View Feedback (1)Hide Feedback (1)

Already the Big-Oil and Gas Guys (The BO&GGs or BOGG's) are disparging this idea, making up all kinds of negative stuff about it,...like "we" dont get enough sun," ..."too much space," and "too expensive." Well this will be bad news for them. This industry is so far advanced that they are making them as thin as paper! They are working on a way to make it so you can print them up off of your computer at home! I"m not kidding, look it up. The idea is to put them in masss-production so that we can buy them on the cheap @ any WalMart$ someday. With this new innovation, the solar energy business is going to take off like a (pardon the pun) "rocket in the sun." Just want ya'll to keep this is mind whenever you hear the BOGGs talking shit about solar energy, just know that they are talking about an industry that very well might be the end of them, and they know it. Just wait untl that ole Mule-Faced Corporate-Raider-Marketeer, Mr. T Bone NosePickins Big Bag of Wind & Gas & Oil guy gets wind of this devistatin' news,.... I bet he will be blowed away! I'll bet you he'll be on the phone and running all over the place buying up all the solar energy stocks. I wouldnt be one bit suprized if he started right in to building solar energy plants of his own. He could incorporate them into his wind-mill farms hes got springin up all over the place, and call his "New Pickins Plan" enterprize "Big Wind & Sun Energy." I bet he could corner the market in alternative energy very easily. Now wouldnt that be a nice windfall for him? Lucky bastard. His life must be a gas! Buuuuuu HHaaaaaaa (my evil laugh)
about a minute ago · LikeUnlike ·
Note to Friend: You may want to stop following my blogs once you find out how much on-line editiog I do! (Another BrrrroooouuuuuuuuHaHa)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fish Dying Off All Over the USA

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Sat 10 Jul 2010
Source: KITV.com [edited]

Mysterious illness killing puffer fish
A wildlife disease specialist with the US Geological Survey said his
office has received at least 100 reports of dead puffer fish from
across the state in the last 6 months.

Dying puffer fish were discovered in Kona back in February [2010].
Reports of dead puffers were coming from Maui in May. Recently, the
puffer fish have been washing ashore in Kaneohe Bay and Kailua beach
here [Honolulu] on Oahu.

The sick and dying puffer fish have been found with lesions on the
skin, but it's what they're finding on the inside that has
researchers alarmed. "We're seeing things like enlarged livers,
enlarged swim bladders, which is the organ that allows them to
float," said the US wildlife disease specialist Theirry Work.

Work and his staff have been able to analyze only 14 sick puffer fish
so far and they're baffled by what is killing them.

Right now, they're leaning towards some type of virus or toxicosis.

"We really need to sort out what it is that's killing them. Once we
sort out the cause, we can decide if it can affect other fish or
not," said Work.

The illness appears to be affecting the striped puffer fish the most,
followed by the porcupine puffer fish. Researchers are asking for the
public to be on the lookout for these sick fish. They ask if you find
one, to put it on ice and report it to your local aquatics resources office.

"You'll see these fish either floating and can't submerge and they
just don't look right, or if they're on the beach, their gills will
be moving a little bit," said Work. "As long as there's a little bit
of movement in those fish, they're super fresh and we can use them.
If they've sitting on the beach a while, they're too decomposed and
we can't do much with them."

These agencies will take care of transporting the fish to Oahu for analysis:
DLNR Division of Aquatics Resources
Eyes of the Reef:
Kauai - Paul Clark
Maui - Darla White
Oahu - Thierry Work or Greta Aeby
Big Island - Linda Preskitt

Communicated by:
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail

[There are about 100 species of puffer fish. Most puffer fish are
found in sub-tropical and tropical marine waters in the Atlantic,
Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Some puffers live in brackish and fresh water.

The puffer fish is also known as the blowfish, fugu, swellfish, and
globefish. It is called the puffer fish because when it is
threatened, it puffs up to about twice its normal size by gulping
water. In this engorged state, the puffer fish can swim at only about
half its normal speed.

Any number of toxins in the water may be causing the problem, or
perhaps a different concentration of an agent. A water analysis may
be helpful. Also, it may be helpful to know if their food source has
changed: is it less or more abundant? What about water temperatures
as compared to previous years?

Many parts of the blowfish (including the liver, muscles, skin, and
ovaries) contain an extremely strong, paralyzing poison called
tetrodoxin. This poison is about a thousand times deadlier than
cyanide. There is no known antidote for this poison. Fugu (torafugu
or _Fugu rubripes_, Japanese puffer fish) is eaten in Japan, but is
only cooked by specially-trained chefs who can minimize the amount of
poison. Even so, many Japanese diners have died from eating this
poisonous delicacy.

The poison found in puffer fish, blowfish, balloon fish, toads,
sunfish, porcupine fish, toadfish, globefish, and swellfish is a
tetrodotoxin. This is one of the most toxic poisons found in nature.
Most people who eat puffer fish do so intentionally; puffer fish are
considered an Asian delicacy, served in some types of sushi and
sashimi. Unless the chef is specially trained to cut the meat in a
particular fashion, the dish may contain a large amount of the toxin.
Puffer fish poisoning is similar to paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Portions of this comment have been extracted from

See image of puffer fish at

Image of tetrodotoxin molecule at

[The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Hawaii is available at
. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ

[see also:
Undiagnosed die-off, fish - USA: (PA, ID) 20100716.2373
Undiagnosed fish die-off - USA: (MI) RFI 20100618.2056
Undiagnosed fish die-off - Canada: (ON) 20100613.1987
Undiagnosed fish die-off - USA (02): (WV, OH, PA) columnaris 20100610.1946
Undiagnosed fish die-off - USA: (WV, OH, PA) 20100601.1827
Undiagnosed fish die-off - USA: (NJ) koi herpesvirus susp. 20100528.1773
Tetrodotoxin, sea slug, canine - NZ (02): dolphin susp. 20090906.3136
Tetrodotoxin, sea slug, canine - New Zealand 20090818.2923
Tetrodotoxin poisoning, puffer fish - Japan (Yamagata) 20090129.0399

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information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
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Friday, July 16, 2010

DEP Orders EOG Resources to Halt All Natural Gas Drilling Activities in PA

HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection today ordered EOG Resources Inc. to suspend its natural gas well drilling activities in Pennsylvania after a June 3 blowout at one of the company’s Clearfield County wells sent natural gas and at least 35,000 gallons of drilling wastewater into the sky and over the ground for 16 hours.

DEP Secretary John Hanger said that while the order bans all drilling and hydrofracturing, or fracking, operations for specified periods of time, the suspension will remain in effect until DEP has completed a comprehensive investigation into the leak and the company has implemented any needed changes.

“DEP staff, along with an independent expert, will conduct a detailed investigation of not just the incident that occurred last week in Clearfield County, but of EOG Resources’ drilling operations, as a whole, here in Pennsylvania,” said Hanger. “The Clearfield County incident presented a serious threat to life and property. We are working with the company to review its Pennsylvania drilling operations fully from beginning to end to ensure an incident of this nature does not happen again.”

The order prohibits EOG Resources from drilling activities up to seven days; from engaging in fracking operations up to 14 days; and from completing or initiating post-fracking operations for 30 days in any wells throughout the state. These actions and operations cannot resume until the department agrees that the investigation has been fully completed.

The results of the investigation will also help determine whether DEP should take additional enforcement action against the company, such as fines or penalties.

Hanger added that EOG Resources has been fully cooperative and in agreement with the department’s ongoing investigation and order.

The leak began at approximately 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 3, when the well’s operators lost control of it while preparing to extract gas after fracking the shale. As a result, natural gas and flowback frack fluid was released uncontrollably onto the ground and 75 feet into the air. The well was capped at around noon on June 4.
The EOG well pad is located in a rural area near the Penfield/Route 153 exit of Interstate 80 in northwestern Clearfield County, near Moshannon State Forest.

The department’s Emergency Response and Oil and Gas programs responded to the incident, along with the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and local fire and police departments.

PEMA elevated its activation level to coordinate resources among multiple state agencies and worked with PennDOT and the Federal Aviation Administration to institute a temporary airspace restriction above the well. The restriction was lifted at approximately 1:45 p.m. on June 4.

“Fortunately, the well did not ignite and explode, and there were no injuries to the well crew or emergency responders,” said Hanger. “Our preliminary assessment is that the environmental damage was modest as the frack fluid was contained and did not appear to reach any streams, but DEP is continuing its monitoring efforts because sometimes the impacts of a spill like this are delayed. We have noted that a spring in the area has shown a spike in conductivity and that discharge is being collected by EOG for proper disposal.”

The secretary noted that the company expects to have a more accurate estimate of the amount of fracking water that was leaked after it finishes draining the pits and waterboxes it deployed to collect the fluids. As of June 7, initial estimates totaled 35,000 gallons, although more was certainly released and the company believes this accounts for a majority of the leaked water.

DEP’s preliminary investigation has determined that a blowout preventer on the well failed, but the agency does not yet know if that failure was the main cause of the incident. The blowout preventer has been secured and will be one piece of the investigation.

EOG Resources, formerly known as Enron Oil & Gas Co., operates approximately 265 active wells in Pennsylvania, 117 of which are in the Marcellus Shale formation.

For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pa Fracking Fluid Contain Neurologically Harmful Chemicals

MARC LEVY HuffPost 06/28/10 07:30 PM HARRISBURG, Pa. — More than two years after the start of a natural gas drilling boom, Pennsylvania is making public a complete list of the chemicals used to extract the gas from deep underground amid rising public fears of potential water contamination and increased scrutiny of the fast-growing industry. Compounds associated with neurological problems, cancer and other serious health effects are among the chemicals being used to drill the wells, although state and industry officials say there is no evidence that the activity is polluting drinking water. The Associated Press obtained the list from the state Department of Environmental Protection, which assembled what is believed to be the first complete catalog of chemicals being used to drill in Pennsylvania's gas-rich Marcellus Shale. The department hopes to post it online soon. It counts more than 80 chemicals being used by the industry in a process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," as it pursues the gas in the mile-deep shale. Many of the compounds are present in consumer products, such as salt, cosmetics, gasoline, pesticides, solvents, glues, paints and tobacco smoke. Environmental advocates worry the chemicals are poisoning underground drinking water sources. However, environmental officials say they know of no examples in Pennsylvania or elsewhere. "If we thought there was any frack fluid getting into fresh drinking water ... I think we'd have to have a very serious conversation about prohibiting the activity completely," said Scott Perry, the director of the department's Bureau of Oil and Gas Management. Conrad Volz, who directs the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, said state and federal agencies haven't done enough research to come to that conclusion. A decades-old technology, hydraulic fracturing was coming under increased scrutiny even before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Its spread from states such as Texas, Colorado and Wyoming to heavily populated watersheds on the East Coast has led to worries about water contamination and calls for federal regulation. Hydraulic fracturing is exempt from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, leaving states to regulate the activity. In New York state, regulators have effectively held up drilling on the Marcellus Shale while they consider new regulations. Last year, they published a list of more than 250 chemicals that could potentially be used there. In Pennsylvania, where approximately 1,500 Marcellus Shale wells have been drilled and many thousands more are expected in the coming years, the state is working to buttress its regulations even as rigs poke holes in large swaths of the state. Last week, HBO aired a documentary called "Gasland" that portrayed the natural gas industry as an environmental menace that spoils water, air and lives. The industry has challenged the film's veracity, saying it botches facts, exaggerates evidence and spotlights citizens whose claims already have been investigated and debunked. Pennsylvania assembled the list in recent months from information the industry is required to disclose and decided to prepare it for the public as public interest grew, Perry said. Industry officials say the chemicals pose no threat because they are handled safely and are heavily diluted when they are injected under heavy pressure with water and sand into a well. Industry officials say the chemicals account for less than 1 percent of the fluid that is blasted underground. The mixture breaks up the shale some 5,000 to 8,000 feet down and props open the cracks to allow the gas trapped inside to flow up the well to the surface. One compound, naphthalene, is classified by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as a possible human carcinogen. The EPA said central nervous system depression has been reported in people who get high levels of toluene by deliberately inhaling paint or glue. In its online guidelines on xylene, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cites an industrial hygiene and toxicology text that says chronic exposure to xylene may cause central nervous system depression, anemia, liver damage and more. The chemicals are used to reduce friction, kill algae and break down mineral deposits in the well. Various well services firms make different proprietary blends of the solutions and supply them to the drilling companies, which blend them with water at the well site before pumping them underground. In recent years, some makers of the solutions have sought to replace toxic ingredients with "green" or food-based additives. For instance, Range Resources Corp., one of the most active drilling companies in Pennsylvania, is close to rolling out a 100 percent biodegradable friction reducer, spokesman Matt Pitzarella said Monday.

BP Oil Spill Reaches New Orleans' Lake Potchartrain



Joe Raedle / Getty Images
(above): Workers use nets to scoop small globs of oil from the water in
Rigolets Pass, which connects the Gulf to Lake Pontchartrain.
Cain Burdeau reports:

"New Orleans, which managed to escape the oil from the BP spill for more than two months, can't hide any longer.

"For the first time since the accident, oil from the ruptured well is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain, threatening another environmental disaster for the huge body of water that was rescued from pollution in 1990s to become, once more, a bountiful fishing ground and a popular spot for boating and swimming.

"Over the July Fourth weekend, tar balls and an oil sheen pushed by strong winds from faraway Hurricane Alex slipped past lines of barges that were supposed to block the passes connecting the Gulf of Mexico to the lake.

"State authorities closed the lake's eastern reaches to fishing on Monday, though most of it remained open. Barges were lined up at bayous and passes to stop the oil from coming in, and cleanup crews Tuesday used nets to collect tar balls from marinas and docks. They also planned to lay out 9,000 feet of special permeable booms. But the lake was too choppy for skimmer vessels to operate.

"About 1,700 pounds of oily waste has been collected, said Suzanne Parsons Stymiest, a spokeswoman for St. Tammany Parish."

(above): Tar balls wash ashore on Texas beaches
NOLA finally affected by oil spill - what are your comments?

Greg Dempsey
Voice of the People

Oil seeps into New Orleans' Lake Pontchartrain

By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writer Cain Burdeau, Associated Press Writer - 2 hrs 41 mins ago
NEW ORLEANS - The amount of oil infiltrating 600-square-mile Lake Pontchartrain (pronounced PAHN-chuh-trayn) appears small so far. And tests on seafood have not turned up any oil contamination, said Brian Lezina, a state biologist. But the pollution is distressing to the many people in Louisiana who have a deep attachment to the lake.

"You won't hear songs about a lot of the marshes in south Louisiana, but you will hear songs about Lake Pontchartrain," Lezina said.

Out in the Gulf, meanwhile, stormy weather kept skimmers from working offshore Tuesday for yet another day and delayed the hookup of a big new ship intended to suck more crude from the gushing well. Also, the arrival of a Navy blimp intended to hover above the relief effort was delayed until Friday.

Tar balls from the spill also washed up on Texas beaches over the holiday weekend, meaning the disaster now touches all five Gulf Coast states, spanning more than 500 miles of coastline.

Lake Pontchartrain, named for the French count of Pontchartrain during the reign of Louis XIV, is on the northern edge of the city. It is connected to the Gulf of Mexico by two main passes: the Rigolets, a winding passage of about 10 miles, and the Chef Menteur, around nine miles long.

For centuries, it has been a playground, a source of seafood and a backdoor route to New Orleans for invading British troops and hurricane storm surge.

Until the 1970s, its shores were a top destination for city folks who took streetcars and buses to the lake to swim and to dine at restaurants that cooked up the lake's crabs and other seafood. They played in penny arcades and rode the Zephyr roller coaster at the Pontchartrain Beach amusement park.

But pollution shut down the swimming and chased away marine life, and the amusement park closed in the early 1980s.

The lake's restoration included a ban on commercial clam dredging and new regulations governing urban runoff. Slowly, the lake revived. In recent years, sightings of dolphins and manatees have delighted locals, and commercial and recreational fishing is thriving.

About 60 commercial fishermen catch blue crabs and shrimp in the lake, and scores of sport fishermen can be found on any given day reeling in speckled trout, redfish, flounder, black drum and sheepshead.

"Even the people involved in the restoration didn't believe it could be restored. It was completely written off. It was thought to be an impossible task," said John Lopez, a scientist with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, which led the restoration effort. "It has been a dramatic turnabout."

The oil could be the second setback in five years. Hurricane Katrina knocked out seafood docks and lakeside restaurants in 2005. The lake's water quality also took a hit when the Army Corps of Engineers drained the city's contaminated floodwaters into the lake.

"So far, this stuff has been offshore for the majority of the population in the southeastern portion of Louisiana," Anne Rheams, executive director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, said of the oil spill. "This is bringing it closer to home."

Gerica, like the dozens of other commercial fishermen who use the lake, planned to pick up his crab traps as soon as the weather cleared.

Anthony Montalbano Jr., the chef and owner of II Tony's, an Italian seafood restaurant next to the lake, said it has been a struggle to stay open. Katrina swamped his restaurant at Bucktown, a lakeside community in New Orleans that has the feel of a bayou town.

"This was going to be our best year since Katrina for sure, but not now," Montalbano said as the TV in the bar showed an ad for a law firm suing BP.


Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman and Tom Breen in New Orleans contributed to this report.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

EPA to Vist Gulf Coast Tomorrow

EPA Press Office

July 1, 2010

TOMORROW: EPA Administrator Makes Sixth Trip to Gulf Region to Oversee Response to the BP Spill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson returns to the gulf coast tomorrow to monitor EPA’s on-the-ground response to the BP oil spill, meet with federal responders and BP representatives, and speak with residents about ongoing federal efforts to mitigate the spill’s impact on the region. She will travel to New Orleans and Pensacola, Fla.

This marks Administrator Jackson’s sixth visit to the gulf region since the oil spill began. During the trip, she will be briefed by EPA and Coast Guard officials on the latest response updates and monitoring data, and oversee beach clean up efforts in the region. The administrator will also meet with EPA scientists in Gulf Breeze, Fla., for a briefing on ongoing dispersant testing.

Administrator Jackson and EPA continue to work closely with National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, who is leading the administration-wide response and directing all interagency activities.

To request an interview with Administrator Jackson, please email johnson.alisha@epa.gov.

For more information on EPA’s efforts in the gulf and for the latest air, water, sediment and underwater dispersant monitoring data: http://www.epa.gov/bpspill.


10:00 a.m. CENTRAL Briefing with Local Officials

1:00 p.m. CENTRAL Town Hall Meeting: “Expanding the Environmental Conversation”
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Blvd
New Orleans, La.

3:00 p.m. CENTRAL Meeting with Environmental Groups


10:30 a.m. CENTRAL Tour of EPA’s Gulf Breeze Lab and Pensacola Beach Operations Lab
Gulf Breeze and Pensacola, Fla.

1:15 p.m. CENTRAL Stakeholder Meeting
Gulf Breeze, Fla.


Note: If a link above doesn't work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.