Michigan gas wells surpassing all water records; governor-approved frack panel unconcerned by banmichiganfracking, March 29, 2013
Information documents received by Ban Michigan Fracking on March 1 and 18 show Encana Oil and Gas USA is poised to establish a new national record for water usage on a horizontal frack pad, surpassing the record it set just last fall in Kalkaska County. But at a videotaped March 5 webinar of the University of Michigan’s ongoing governor-approved fracking study, panelists showed little concern. [Emphasis added]
More fracking wells planned, EnCana’s application says it will need 300M gallons of groundwater by Glenn Puit, March 24, 2013, Record Eagle
Encana Oil & Gas’ new applications for fracking permits — and the amount of proposed groundwater — raised concerns among some local residents. “It’s pretty astounding,” said Chris Grobbel, a Traverse City-based environmental consultant. “A small-sized municipality is going to use about 100 million gallons annually. It’s three times the quantity … it’s quite a substantial amount.” … Paul Brady, 45, of Kalkaska County’s Bear Lake Township, closely monitors state filings and Encana’s publicly disclosed documents about its hydraulic fracturing wells. Three wells already drilled in a nearby township consumed 42 million gallons of water over a two-year period. Brady contends Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials don’t adequately regulate wells, given the large volumes of water used, and that public documents show Encana’s wells all fail a water withdrawal assessment measurement designed to protect the state’s water resources. “It’s extremely irresponsible to allow the withdrawal of our groundwater at such a magnitude without any type of cumulative impact study being done,” Brady said. Encana spokeswoman Bridget Ford said the company follows state regulations. The company has two years to drill wells once they obtain approval. “The water withdrawals we initially applied for were based on the current data that we had,” Ford said. “Under the DEQ guidelines, we did request additional water once we obtained additional data about the lateral length of our wells. We were still within the guidelines of the (state’s) water assessment tool for each of the wells we’ve completed to date.”
DEQ officials said they closely regulate wells that use the fracking procedure. “We are concerned with … any water use like that,” said Rick Henderson, a field operations supervisor for the DEQ’s Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals. “Under no circumstances are we going to allow an adverse resource impact.” … The volume of water Encana is using prompts questions from some about the state’s regulatory system. James Olson, an environmental attorney in Traverse City, believes the assessment tool is flawed. Olson said water flow data on which it relies are overstated, withdrawal impacts are understated, and the state does not adequately consider the cumulative impact of multiple water withdrawals. “If you read the fine print, the standard is you are allowed to take any amount of water out of a stream as long as it doesn’t kill more than 2 to 5 percent of the characteristic fish population,” Olson said. “You can do a lot of damage before you kill 2 to 5 percent of the fish population.” [Emphasis added]
Encana plans to drill dozens of fracking wells by Upnorthlive, March 24, 2013
Encana Oil & Gas has applied for fracking permits for the wells in Kalkaska County. The Traverse City Record-Eagle…says the wells would need 300 million gallons of groundwater.
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