My last four blog posts have been about Pennsylvania. I am not picking on this state. It's just that a lot of news is being generated there.
Yesterday in western Pennsylvania a waste pit caught on fire. There are frightening photos on the websites of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Washington County, PA Observer-Reporter.
This fire occurred at the operation of a company that has already been fined for failing to control erosion and runoff at six well sites and for allowing spills of diesel fuel and production fluids at seven wells. When will penalties be made high enough that companies have a strong incentive to keep communities safe?
To add insult to injury, this fire occurred on the property of a family whose groundwater has been contaminated. When I read their name in the paper today I just couldn't believe it. I wrote about them last year--water testing found arsenic at 2,600 times acceptable levels, benzene at 44 times above limits, naphthalene at five times the federal standard, and mercury and selenium levels above official limits. This family does not own their mineral rights and is not receiving income from the natural gas operations on their farm.
Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, pipes conveying fluid to a frac job were found leaking on both March 22 and March 25. A citizen reporter captured the leaks on video. One video show some workers who appear to be standing around watching. This fluid is leaking on the property of a children's camp. If anyone knows where this is in Pennsylvania, please let me know and I'll update the post.