How Fracking Has Contaminated Drinking Water; The oil and gas extraction technique threatens water in North Dakota and elsewhere, but activists are fighting back by Elena Bruess December 03, 2020, Consumer Reports
This article was co-published with Ensia, a solutions-focused nonprofit media outlet reporting on our changing planet.
Lisa Finley-DeVille started drinking bottled water around the same time her friend’s horses began to get sick and die. A half decade ago on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota, Finley-DeVille drove up to see her friend in the New Town area. The horses looked dehydrated and brittle, just skin and bones. They’re eating, but it’s like they’re not eating, her friend told her.
The explanation, Finley-DeVille believes, was down the hill, at the pond the horses drank from. She suspects wastewater from nearby oil and gas production leaked there, where the horses drank it up, poisoned.
“I’m always worried,” Finley-Deville says. “This is why we don’t drink the water.”
Slides above from Diana Daunheimer presentations
Finley-DeVille is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, in Fort Berthold. Just a half-mile from her house, in the town of Mandaree, oil and gas are produced by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, an increasingly popular approach to fossil fuel extraction that involves injecting pressurized water, sand, and chemicals into the Earth to release the gas or oil within.
Legal loopholes that exempt fracking from elements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency’s hazardous-waste laws are endangering surrounding communities, and putting drinking water at risk of contamination. Now national, state, and local grassroots groups, some led by Finley-DeVille, are calling for change.
The Problem With Wastewater
… Thanks largely to fracking technology, oil production in North Dakota has increased fourfold since 2010, with the state producing an unprecedented 45 million barrels in 2019. Although a collapse in oil demand in 2020 curbed the boom, fracking has left its mark.
Wastewater—a combination of “flowback,” a portion of the water used to fracture the rock to release fossil fuels that flow back to the surface, and naturally occurring “produced” water that the fracking process forces to the surface—is still ever present.
According to a report published by the nonprofit environmental organization Earthworks (PDF), fracking produced 19 billion gallons of wastewater in North Dakota in 2018 alone.
The risk to drinking water comes in two major ways. First, water used in the hydraulic drilling process can leak into aquifers and other groundwater supplies. Second, the wastewater that fracking produces can contaminate supplies when waste leaks from landfills that accept oil remains, when waste spills from trucks or pipelines moving it, when equipment fails, or when waste leaks from unlined disposal pits.
The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, located in the middle of the oil-rich Williston Basin, is bordered by a massive concentration of fracking wells.
Both flowback and produced water may contain (PDF) heavy metals such as barium and lead (PDF), hydrocarbons, naturally occurring radioactive material, and incredibly high levels of salinity. Flowback and produced wastewater can also include chemical additive formulas, with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, ethylene glycol, methanol, and toluene. Between 2005 and 2013, the EPA identified 1,084 chemicals reported in fracking formulas.
In North Dakota, wastewater is normally disposed of in storage pits or underground disposal wells, taken to treating plants that process the waste, or in some cases spread on roads as a de-icer.
In Canada too! Even when de-icing not needed, such as when there’s no snow or ice and or on gravel roads.
Photos above by FrackingCanada
But sometimes, whether in transportation or equipment malfunction, the wastewater can spill into the environment, contaminating the land and water around and beneath it.
A pipeline rupture in 2014 spilled a million gallons of wastewater on the Fort Berthold Reservation and contaminated Bear Den Bay in Lake Sakakawea, a quarter-mile from where the town of Mandaree draws its drinking water. Bill Suess, the program manager for spill investigation at the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, says his team checked the intake system and didn’t find any elevated levels of contaminants, probably because of the amount of freshwater in the lake.
Avner Vengosh, a professor of earth and ocean sciences at Duke University, led a study in 2016 that found elevated levels of fracking-related contaminants in North Dakota at sites including Bear Den Bay. The researchers detected high levels of salts, ammonium, selenium, lead, and other toxic substances, as well as radium, a naturally occurring radioactive element found in wastewater as many as four years after original spills. The team checked the Mandaree water intake as well, Vengosh says, but did not find any elevated levels. It takes very little to contaminate drinking water, and can make and our loved ones sick.
Exemptions and Loopholes
“There’s a large amount of the waste from the different parts of the oil and gas cycle,” says Amy Mall, a senior advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council and a consultant on the Earthworks report. “The waste can be very toxic, and it also can leak or spill or otherwise get into the environment. So there are concerns about how the waste is regulated, whether it’s being regulated in a way that is adequately protective to human health.” Typical NGO synergy talk, the better to enable frac’ing and us being harmed by it! Infuriating and disgusting (spewed endlessly by Canadian NGOs too, including Council of Canadians, Pembina Institute, Centre for Policy Alternatives, etc, to keep funding rolling in while families living frac’d are poisoned). It’s been proven and reported repeatedly that there is no regulation that will make frac’ing safe, except to criminalize it – permanently. NGOs need to call for frac bans, and nothing less, which is what they did in Republic of Ireland and France, and why those countries succeeded in criminalizing frac’ing and keeping the harms out.
Frac’ers lose so much money frac’ing, they ignore regulations whenever they please, with politician, regulator and too many church blessings. And, frac’ers contaminate so much land, air, water, food, etc, they demand and get incessant deregulation while “regulators” lie to the public and harmed, saying they are regulating and adding regulation.
Stop the synergizing! NGOs are causing as much harm as the frac’ers, perhaps even more. Narwhal and National Observer are heinous synergizing media in Canada too, calling for regulations, while slickly reporting endless harms but that the harmed are “not opposed” so as to enable frac’ing. Public Herald, media in PA, is one of the few non-synergizing alternate media, and Josh Shapiro, AG of PA, is one of the few authorities anywhere taking responsible action against some law violating frac’ers.
Even CAPE, Canadian physicians led by a Pembina Institute lawyer (Pembina is controlled and funded by Alberta gov’t, AER, Encana and other big frac’ing law violators and polluters – read their annual reports) sneakily deceives, lies and synergizes to enable the frac harms.
One concern is an exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act, known as the Halliburton loophole, that exempts industry from having to disclose the chemicals it uses in fracking and prevents the EPA from regulating fracking fluids. The loophole was established in an energy bill passed by the Bush-Cheney administration in 2005 and has been in effect ever since.
“The purpose of the [Safe Drinking Water Act] is to protect our drinking water, and the industry that is pumping toxic chemicals, carcinogenic chemicals, underground doesn’t even have to tell us what those are,” says Melissa Troutman, research and policy analyst at Earthworks.
The oil and gas industry is also exempt from federal EPA hazardous waste regulations and Superfund regulations, which exclude waste associated with the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas. Drilling fluids, produced water, and other waste are not disposed of as hazardous and are exempt from the hazardous-waste cleanup process when it comes to spills or leaks. The industry has been exempt from these regulations since the 1970s, when the EPA temporarily proposed that oil and gas waste was not hazardous. This ruling became permanent in 1988 when the agency determined that the cost of treating the waste would slow production.
The organization FracTracker Alliance calculated hundreds of brine and crude oil spills throughout the region. More recently, a 34,000-gallon wastewater pipeline spilled north of New Town in June this year and two pipeline spills deposited 21,000 gallons of wastewater into a Missouri River tributary in 2019. According to the North Dakota government’s spill database, more than 400 wastewater spills were reported in 2018.
Several portions of North Dakota’s sandstone aquifers are exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The EPA has determined that the portions do not currently serve as a source of water and will not serve as one in the future, allowing the oil and gas industry to use the aquifer for extraction and disposal of waste. There are three aquifer exceptions in the Fort Berthold Reservation, according to the EPA Underground Injection Control Program, all used for produced water disposal. Once used, that portion of the aquifer can never be used for drinking water in the future.
For Finley-DeVille, solving fracking and wastewater comes down to these regulations. She is co-founder and treasurer of the Fort Berthold Protectors of Water & Earth Rights, or POWER, an organization formed in 2015 to reduce the impacts of the oil boom in her community. Since its start, she and her husband, Walter DeVille, have worked with the nonprofit environmental organization Dakota Resource Council and with Earthworks, among others, to campaign for more regulations and more information on what contaminants are involved in fracking.
“There’s a right way to do this,” Finley-DeVille says. “It’s creating those laws and environmental justice and enforcing it . . . making sure [industry] is held accountable and responsible.” Which has been proven again and again, is impossible. Why chase impossibility? Why not say, “No!” If all NGOs, community groups and alternate media stopped saying they and the frac harmed are “not opposed” and stopped asking for safe frac’ing via the dream of regulation, and instead demanded frac bans, North America might be like Ireland and France with frac’ing criminalized and the poisoning stopped.
Fort Berthold POWER sued the Bureau of Land Management in 2018 after the agency rolled back the methane waste prevention rule, which is meant to reduce venting, flaring, and leaking from oil and gas operations. Members of Fort Berthold POWER also went to speak in Washington D.C., where they presented infrared images of harmful methane emissions from well pads—a spot where multiple wells are drilled—within their community. This rollback was struck down in 2020.
Currently, the organization is fighting the recent rollbacks of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a 50-year-old law that requires federal agencies to evaluate the environmental impacts of their actions, such as permit applications or land and water management. The new rollbacks limit this review and community input. President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to reverse these rollbacks.
“NEPA is very important and significant,” Finley-DeVille says. “Everything that’s under NEPA protects us as [Indigenous and Native] peoples, that protects our gravesites, our historical and traditional cultural sites, it protects our water . . . all that’s in danger now.”
Troutman, at Earthworks, says the regulatory loopholes must be closed to prevent further spilling, clean up current spills, and address drinking water contamination. Sorry to bust your frac bubble. I have in the past hugely respected Troutman’s work and statements, but, closing regulatory loopholes will prevent nothing – law violations will just become law violations again (So what? How many frac’d families can afford more than a million dollars to pay for a lawsuit that Canadian and American courts will never allow to get anywhere except bankrupt the families and or settle and gag, while getting sicker and sicker and paying to haul water for decades?). Frac’ers will just break the law, and continue spilling and polluting the air, land, food and water, and sickening livestock, wildlife, fish and communities.This past summer, New York became the first state to close the hazardous-waste loophole, meaning that oil and gas waste will now be treated as other hazards. Pennsylvania and New Mexico are looking to do the same.
While North Dakota has not closed these regulatory gaps, local efforts such as Finley-DeVille’s work have picked up steam. Just this month, Williams County, northwest of the Fort Berthold Reservation, extended a yearlong moratorium on a proposed landfill for radioactive oilfield waste by six months, with the county board of commissioners citing a desire to consider options for regulations and restrictions first.
Finley-DeVille, for her part, recently took an even bigger step toward change as well, running for state senate in November. Though she didn’t win, she is working with the Native American Caucus now to get specific representation for the reservation at the North Dakota senate and the house. The quest for clean land, air, and water is far from over. “That’s the reason I do what I do,” she says.
America’s Water Crisis
Consumer Reports has a long history of investigating America’s water. In 1974, we published a landmark three-part series (PDF) revealing that water purification systems in many communities had not kept pace with increasing levels of pollution and that many community water supplies might be contaminated. Our work helped lead to Congress enacting the Safe Drinking Water Act in December 1974.
More than 45 years later, America is still struggling with a dangerous divide between those who have access to safe and affordable drinking water and those who don’t. Communities of color often are affected disproportionately by this inequity. Consumer Reports remains committed to exposing the weaknesses in our country’s water system, including raising questions about Americans’ reliance on bottled water as an alternative—and the safety and sustainability implications of this dependence.
In addition to our ongoing investigations into bottled water, we are proud to be partnering with our readers and those of the Guardian US, another institution dedicated to journalism in the public interest, to test for dangerous contaminants in tap water samples from more than 100 communities around the country. The Guardian and CR will also be publishing related content from Ensia, a nonprofit newsroom focused on environmental issues and solutions.
America’s Water Crisis is the name we are jointly giving to this project and the series of articles we co-publish on the major challenges many in the U.S. face getting access to safe, clean, and affordable water. We will share the results of our upcoming test findings with you. In the meantime, you can join our social media conversation around water under the hashtag #waterincrisis.
Chief Content Officer, Consumer Reports
Refer also to:
1988: Engineer reported hundreds of drinking water wells contaminated with sour gas on Stoney Reserve west of Calgary. H2S is deadly, damages the brain even at low levels. “Best in the World” Regulator (before decades of frac deregulation!) blamed nature and if not nature, then bacteria, all without any testing or investigation. Same blame game polka after frac’ing contaminated drinking water wells with gas at Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Spirit River, Rockyford, Rosebud, Redland, etc.
1999: Alberta Energy Corporation (became Encana which split off Cenovus after Ernst lawsuit filed, then ran away to USA as newly named Ovintiv) CEO, Gwyn Morgan, defends company conspiring with RCMP for bombing a gas well
2002: Saboteurs Wiebo Ludwig’s War Against Big Oil by Andrew Nikiforuk, Publisher: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross. A must read to learn how regulating the oil and gas industry does not work.
Winner of the 2002 Arthur Ellis Award for Best True Crime
Winner of the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize
Finalist for the 2002 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction
Finalist for the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Nonfiction
This is a taut, careful work of nonfiction that reads like a thriller and raises unsettling questions about individual rights, corporate power, police methods, and government accountability.
2001-2004: Before the regulators and politicians began their war on regulations to enable the horrific frac harms and pollution and make them legal, Encana/Ovintiv illegally – repeatedly – frac’d Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers (the company’s own data and report on file with the regulators prove it), and lied about it. This was covered-up by Alberta’s “Best in the World” regulators, and enabled by politicians and NGOs. Encana/Ovintiv has still not made the frac-harmed whole, has not repaired the frac’d and contaminated aquifers, and has still not been held accountable for the company’s many crimes. Rather, officials that helped Encana get away with those crimes, have been promoted to top regulatory positions.
2007 Cartoon from last page of Justice Perras Report on EUB (now AER) lying, and repulsively spying on Albertans to enable harms by industry:
Who needs ICORE! EUB trained deregulation – for free – decades ago! It was the “Brotherhood of regulators,” says ex-EUB Chair Neil McCrank, who enabled the Caroline Cover-up and Encana illegally frac’ing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, with the “regulator” abusing it’s power, punishing Ernst instead of the company; was Chair when EUB incorporated the notoriously evil Synergy Alberta in 2006; authorized the “repulsive” spying on innocent Albertans in 2007 that made gov’t change it to ERCB; etc., etc.
2011, Encana/Ovintiv dumping its waste on foodland at Rosebud:
Alberta deregulation escalates to match the frac pollution, damages and harms, and to make the incessant law violations legal.
Slide from Ernst presentations (attended by many synergizers, including Council of
Canadians, they know better. Frac’ers!)
2012 Encana/Ovintiv dumping its waste heavy on the same foodland at Rosebud as in 2011:
Where’s the regulator? Oh ya, too busy deregulating and giving free deregulation lessons to the world.
2013: Encana’s VP Gerard Protti (also VP at Cenovus) is appointed by the Alberta gov’t as head honcho at the regulator after shallow frac’ing by Encana on and near the Campbell’s ranch contaminated their drinking water is also covered-up by the regulator, with no help for the family or their cattle.
Campbell’s (Ponoka ranchers) water was contaminated with methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane and sour gas. And yes, that’s their contaminated water being tested in the photo above.
2014: Synergy and blanket approval to give industry free-for all fracking in Alberta! Watch out Fox Creek and the rest of Canada, Synergy is brainwashing controlled by industry, incredibly evil and works well
2014: Compendium 2: State of Science on Harms by Fracking to Public Health and Water: Health Professionals, Scientists Release Analysis of 400 Peer-Reviewed Studies on Fracking along with Major Scientific Update
Among the key findings:
- 96% of all studies published on health impacts indicate potential risks or adverse health outcomes.
- 87% of original research studies published on health outcomes indicate potential risks or adverse health outcomes.
- 95% of all original research studies on air quality indicate elevated concentrations of air pollutants.
- 72% of original research studies on water quality indicate potential, positive association, or actual incidence of water contamination.
- There is an ongoing explosion in the number of peer-reviewed publications on the impacts of shale or tight gas developments: approximately 73% of all available scientific peer-reviewed papers have been published in the past 24 months, with a current average of one paper published each day.
Anthony Ingraffea, PhD, Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, Cornell University, said, “In 2008, when New York State first declared a moratorium on fracking, only six peer-reviewed papers on the health and environmental impacts had been published. Now there are more than 400, and the vast majority show a clear and present danger. What’s more, many problems are unfixable by regulations of any kind. It was a wise governor who said ‘wait’ in 2008*. And it is wise to continue to wait.”
2015: “It looks like fracking has unearthed an unbargained for and serious cancer risk in peoples’ homes.” John Hopkins study links radon levels in Pennsylvania homes to fracking: “These findings worry us”
2015: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” Why ask for regulations knowing frac problems & harms can’t be repaired with regulations, not even “best in the world,” and everywhere they’re fracing, or planning to, regulators are madly deregulating?
2015: Quakes in Gas Fields Ignored for Years, Dutch Safety Agency’s report a relevant read for any fracking zone; Fox Creek frac quakes make AER play deregulation with you and your loved ones: “Red Light = Green Light”
2015: If frac’ing is safe & wonderful, why so many gag orders, why is fracking killing hope, people, fish, animals, vegetation, water, air, soil, and busting caprock? Why so much fraud by regulators, politicians, companies, NGOs, experts, academics etc covering up murderous corporate crimes: threats, bullying, abuse; dropping rodent shit into water wells of the harmed; trespassing, home invasions, interrogations of harmed families by police; intimidation; “terrorist” labeling to violate rights of citizens filing lawsuits? George Bender “died of a broken heart” says family.
2015: Andrew Nikiforuk’s Slick Water is published. If after reading the above and posts below, you still believe frac’ing can be made safe by regulating it, and if not, that frac-harmed families can access justice via the courts to make us and our frac’d lands, homes and water whole, read Slick Water.
2016, Alberta massive frac deregulation and lies escalate, even under NDP govt! Near zero royalites, “new” subsidies, massive deregulation, massively excessive regulator staff pay notably in propaganda departments (bribery?), government enabling contamination cover-ups and industry wants more? Oil and gas drillers welcome new incentives, but whine, Notley gives in within hours
2016: The Most Horrific Frac Deregulation Yet? US EPA preparing for “widespread” radioactive frac waste contamination of drinking water or because it’s already happened? EPA’s proposed “protective regulation” to allow dramatically higher levels of radioactivity in drinking water
If frac’ing could be regulated safely, politicians (Steve Harper was one of the most evil frac deregulators!) and regulators would never have initiated their massive deregulation and deception synergy programs. And, NGOs damn well know it.
2016: Didsbury Hell: Do ordinary Albertans pay to repair oil & gas industry damages to public roads caused by hauling hundreds of thousands of tonnes of contaminated oilfield waste? Radioactive? Toxic with secret chemicals, carcinogens, heavy metals, BTEX? Hold your breath if you live nearby.
2016: Will waste water kill fracing? EPA bans disposal of frac waste at public treatment plants. Injecting it causes seismicity, recycling it is costly, using it to irrigate and landspraying it contaminates food, dumping it into waterways kills fish, pits filled with it leak, breathing it in aerosols corrodes lungs. What will companies do with it?
2016: “Your job is to protect Floridians, not to poison us.” Deregulation: All the better to frac ‘n poison you with. Florida DEP trying to ease restrictions on discharged chemicals into rivers, lakes, coastal waters
All together, findings to date from scientific, medical, and journalistic investigations combine to demonstrate that fracking poses significant threats to air, water, health, public safety, climate stability, seismic stability, community cohesion, and long-term economic vitality.
Emerging data from a rapidly expanding body of evidence continue to reveal a plethora of recurring problems and harms that cannot be averted or cannot be sufficiently averted through regulatory frameworks.
There is no evidence that fracking can operate without threatening public health directly or without imperiling climate stability upon which public health depends. In the words of investigative journalist Andrew Nikiforuk:
Industry swore that its cracking rock technology was safe and proven, but science now tells a different story. Brute force combined with ignorance … has authored thousands of earthquakes … [and] called forth clouds of migrating methane…. The science is complicated but clear: cracking rock with fluids is a chaotic activity and no computer model can predict where those fractures will go. The regulatory record shows that they often go out of zone; extend into water; and rattle existing oil and gas wells, and these rattled wells are leaking more methane.
And in the words of a new commentary about fracking in the American Journal of Public
Mounting empirical evidence shows harm to the environment and to human health … and we have no idea what the long-term effects might be…. Ignoring the body of evidence, to us, is not a viable option anymore.
2017: Synergy Alberta Strikes BC! 17 groups, including BC Tap Water Alliance, join call for frac regulations! Calling for regulations gives industry social licence to frac. Has Synergy finally conquered Will Koop?
2017: BC Tap Water Alliance No Longer a Signatory with CCPA Calling for Frac Regulations Under Guise of Calling for Public Inquiry of Frac’ing in BC. Thank you Will Koop, for withdrawing from and saying “NO!” to Synergy Alberta!
2018: Compendium 5: ‘The Harms of Fracking’: New Report Details Increased Risks of Asthma, Birth Defects and Cancer. Dr. Sandra Steingraber: “Fracking is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” Dr. Pouné Saberi: “There is a code of silence….” Workers rarely report injuries or hazards, for fear of losing their jobs. How does one “regulate” that “code of silence?”
2019: UK: Unbelievable! Tory Gov’t bans frac’ing! In Canada, when frac harms ramp up and industry demands deregulation, regulators deregulate. UK decision taken after new scientific study warns it’s not possible to rule out “unacceptable” consequences for those living near frac sites
2019: The DEregulation goes on and on and on: Conventional Oil & Gas Industry Major 2019 Goal: To Restore Program To Spread Well Waste Water On Roads (without oversight and keeping toxic chemical contents secret)
2019: Study: Oil Gas Industry Wastewater spread on roads to control dust & ice in at least 13 states, including Pennsylvania, poses threat to environment & human health; Ohio regulator tests on Aquasalina/Nature’s Own Source (made with frac waste, spread on roads, sold at Lowes and to cities for years) showed combined radium 226 & 228 exceeded USEPA Safe Drinking Water limits by average factor of 300
There are thousands more reports of massive frac deregulation and study after study showing the many harms. NGOs and too many media, including “grassroots,” and their lust for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ are ever setting humanity frac ‘n ass backwards.
2019: California regulators still allowing industry to inject toxic oilfield waste into drinking water aquifers, violating Safe Drinking Water Act; Companies will sue if ordered to stop. Alberta regulators break the law too, letting industry frac into drinking water aquifers, AER’s law violations even enabled by Canada’s top court
2019: Deputy Environment Minister Bev Yee – who helped cover-up Encana’s crimes: diverting water without required permit under Water Act, illegal aquifer fracs, community-wide drinking water contamination & exploding water tower – appointed by Alberta gov’t to chair the AER in “steps to clean house.”
2019: ALDP a Synergy Group? Mark Dorin synergizing for the AER? Study not needed of the 100s of billions of dollars in oilfield liabilities. Complete overhaul of petroleum ownership and its structure is needed, and to send AER, Synergy groups, CAPP, CSUR etc packing!
2019: Frac’ing is not safe, it does not improve the environment! Not even when regulated! Compendium 6: Review by doctors & scientists of more than 1,700 references conclude frac industry poses threat to air, water, climate and human health
2020: AER skulduggery escalates (as the deregulation goes on and on and on): Dave Goldie, Encana & Cenovus VP is new Chair (first was Encana & Cenovus VP Gerry Protti); Martin Foy, Encana crime-enabler, appointed Exec VP (remember AER exec VP, ex-Encana lying manager Mark Taylor?); Propagandizing Synergy Queen, Tracey McCrimmon & Encana crime-enabler Bev Yee appointed to the Board; Anti-science climate change denier, Steve Harper’s best buddy/compaign manager, Kenney’s Kamikazi campaign manager, John Weissenberger, made VP Technical Science & External Innovation Branch
2020: USA oil & gas produced 1.02 trillion gallons wastewater in 2017 (2.8 billion gallons daily). “The fluid can be several times saltier than ocean water, and it can also be contaminated with drilling chemicals, minerals and radioactive material…. About 1% was reused…as drilling fluid or frack fluid.”
2020: Here’s how synergy spin by CAPE is used: Get media to wrongly define hydraulic fracturing to keep industry happy & frac’ing, just like Sierra Club and Council of Canadians do. Straight reports: “Canadian doctors link” frac’d gas to health harms, but not one doctor wrote the report; the lead author is not even part of the doctors’ association
2020: Synergy Strikes Again! CAPE releases new report on frac’ing with great comment by Executive Director, lawyer Robin Edger: “Fracking threatens our health…. The only responsible step for government is to ban it outright.” But, his quote is not included in the report, which is drek (“peer” review by Encana-AER-OGC enabler Pembina Institute).
Shame on CAPE!
CAPE = Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
Ronald Macfarlane, lead author of the report, is not a medical doctor (nor it appears is his co-author), and not part of CAPE. Nowhere on CAPE is it explained who he is or why he wrote the report. An Encana choice? Linked in shows him located in Toronto as an “expert” in environmental health policy but not hydraulic fracturing:
Expert in environmental health who facilitates processes to develop and implement initiatives to protect human health, preserve the environment and reduce inequality. Influences change at the local, provincial, national and global levels through critical analysis of data, synthesis of available information and engagement of stakeholders in working towards a common goal. [The oil and gas industry loves that. It helps them frac and poison us more. Dreaded Evil Synergy!]
Link in also reports Macfarlane working on a, heaven help all the frac harmed:
Fracking Policy Paper
Apr 2019 – Present
A background document that highlights the health and climate impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing and outlines measures that are needed to prevent adverse impacts from the exploitation of shale gas resources in Canada. [With the ultimate goal to escalate frac’ing us.]
2020: MUST WATCH; MUST READ: Pennsylvania Grand Jury Nails It: Hydraulic fracturing is poisoning us (AER & BC OGC are much more corrupt and industry-controlled regulators than PA’s DEP). “So, let’s regulate the poisoning!” yell NGOs, “And give us more money!”