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Greetings From "Frackistan"

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
22 July 2011, 1:41 PM
Across the U.S., people are rising up against "fracking" for natural gas

Up and down the Rockies, in Texas, across much of the northeast, and perhaps soon in your community, engaged citizens are coming together to prevent the harms of rampant gas development.

Last week,  I sat with just such a group in Gunnison County, Co., a beautiful place in the mountains that is confronting rapidly expanding  drilling and fracking for gas. People took time away from work and family to gather and talk about what to do.

  • Fruit growers are concerned that the contaminated waste water from fracking will damage their crops
  •  Parents worry about the quality of the air and whether Gunnison will become like Farmington, New Mexico and Pinedale, Wyoming – small towns in the west plagued by some of the worst air quality in the nation because of intensive gas production. 
  • Local business people don’t want to lose the county’s treasured mountains and streams that make Gunnison a recreation destination.

They have good reason to be concerned.

They know about health studies showing toxic contaminants in the air at fracking sites, the reported episodes of chemical poisoning, the flaming water faucets, exploding houses, and fish kills.

They don’t want their community to become like the intensely drilled area to the south, the San Juan Basin, which has been so decimated by gas development that they refer to it as “Frackistan.”

So, in Gunnison County, folks are using all the tools they have: door-to-door canvassing, news media, the internet and social media; lobbying state and federal officials; election campaigns, and lawsuits. They are working on local zoning ordinances to limit where companies can drill, to require setbacks from homes and drinking water supplies, to limit the weight limits on constantly pounding truck traffic, and to ban fracking outright.

Like activists across the country, they are motivated, creative, persistent.

But they are fighting with a half-empty toolbox. In 2005, President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and Congress worked  with the oil and gas industry to punch major loopholes into our basic environmental laws that exempt gas development from most federal regulation. The intent was to speed gas development across the country, particularly on the federal public lands but also anywhere else with recoverable gas, and that helped set the stage for an unprecedented and largely unregulated gas boom.

And the industry continues to choke off efforts in Congress to close those loopholes.

That leaves a big job for states and local governments, for environmental and health organizations, and especially for citizens.

The work to clean up the gas industry will be long and hard, starting with educating the public that gas is another dirty fossil fuel, not a clean energy panacea. Earthjustice is working with community groups and conservation organizations in Wyoming and Colorado, in Pennsylvania and New York, and in the nation’s capital, providing legal expertise along with some creative communications.

Check out our website and join our efforts to get gas right.

A report entitled “Gassed! A Citizen Investigation of Toxic Air Pollution from Natural Gas Development,” released on July 11, 2011 by the Global Community Monitor found 22 toxic chemicals in the air around natural-gas facilities in La Plata county, including four cancer-causing toxins such as benzene and others known to cause damage to people’s nervous and respiratory systems.

To read more about the report, go to the Durango Herald article online, “Are residents getting ‘gassed’? at

This is the hell we want to avoid, Gunnison County. While we're focusing rightly on the integrity of scarce and precious fresh water supplies, we'd better keep our eye on the ball with regard to our air quality.

A complete ban is the only solution.

Thank you

Trip--Thank you so much for joining us here in Gunnison Cty. and sharing your EarthJustice overview with those of us who were able to join you in Crested Butte. Currently we are demanding that our County Commissioners maintain the most stringent regulations on the fracking projects of Gas and Oil companies squatting over our glorious valley and the entire Southwestern U.S. We would, of course, prefer a complete moritorium on all fracking if or until other SAFE (for the environment, air, water, and all life forms) technologies could be fully proven and implemented. However, 2 of our 3 deciding Commissioners are pro-fracking. We must change their minds before Aug. 2. If you should care to, send emails with your concerns, comments and direct experiences of this venal, deadly process. You can e-mail them at Paula Swenson and Phil Chamberland are the Commissioners choosing to support fracking permits and open, toxic waste pits. I believe they should be held accountable by all concerned citizens on our planet. This is the legacy they are leaving their constituents and environment and they are meant to serve. They should be made to hear, read, recognize they are endangering everything they vowed to uphold and support. Commissioner Hap Channell should be commended for not buckling to the suits and threats from the gas and oil companies. I hope you will take time to support us with your own wisdom and activist awareness.


Check out the mineral rights clause of any land that you own. This fracking business is a bane on the earth. If it means that I cannot use another piece of plastic or what ever I will do it to help people heat their homes but please stop the injury to the earth and the water!

Yes Fracking is bad news. Just think how long the earth will take to recover from this raping of the earth. Figure about 10 ice ages and the shift in contenents, maybe 100,000 years or more.
We won't be around that long thats for sure.

Thank you! I am heartened to see that so many communities are rising up against the gas industry about this. I read an article about communities creating land use zoning laws that saved them from these predators, so if you live in one that is being pressed to frack, check it out!

Two weeks ago the NY Times ran an article about that reported the current push for fracking gas may be the next ENRON, that it may only be a huge Ponzi scheme. It was noted that the amount of production from these wells is often exaggerated and the main way people are making money on the wells is by bundling leases and reselling them, the person that originally leased his land, not longer knows who owns that lease. Sound familiar? Sound like your mortgage? This information needs to be spread and and shared with policy makers.

Many like me have signed many petitions and sent many letters to representatives. I include excerpts from the NY Times article and the link that allows them to read the entire article themselves. In case you'd like to read it and use it in letters here's the link for you:

It's so sad, looks what has happened to our great country under decades of Republican corrupt leadership...

The Cheney-GOP-Halburton Satanic trio blessed this country with this garbage. Exempting fracking from regulations designed to protect land, water and air was an abomination, as was robbing the victims of this disgrace from suing for damages. The corrupt local politicos that don't stand against it are a disgrace to our species. Recently the local stuporvisors voted 19-1 in favor here in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, though it appears that the majority has now narrowed to 18-2. Our government is infested with filth from top to bottom.

Geez man, I could not agree with you more! you hit the nail right on the head .. and the way I see it, if we all decide to stop taking these ass-heads and their fake laws and regulations so seriously, we might make some progress! at some point, the phoney law system is absolutely meaningless when it is being used to pillage the very planet that gives us life in order to gain more power, control and short term profit.
Let's not forget our MOTHER EARTH is a living organism and these freaks don't realize this for some reason AND they certainly could not give a rat's one way or the other - obviously! we all need to rise up and tell them NO MORE and pack their worthless laws, money and politics and take one great big hike off a long cliff!
JUST MY TWO CENTS!! these people are nothing but an outrage and it is about time we stop seeing them as some sort of authority - they know nothing about leading crap!

I hate to read about all the people who have been harmed. Now natural gas drilling in North Louisiana is underway. We have had two workers killed when gas wells exploded. Then cows in a field drank polluted water that had leaked from a well and all died violent and painful deaths. This was all in the Shreveport Times including how they found the cows and how terrible their suffering was as stated by people on the scene.

In reply to Rynstone.....Nuclear fusion needs to have a lot of gov money thrown at it as a priority over any nuke plants or fossil fuel jobs.

30 yrs ago Jimmy Carter tried to get us to work on sustainable fuels and the status quo and political resistance remains and so now we are at a critical point in not being able to get off cold turkey of fossil fuels without going into a caveman era of existance.

Wind energy from the new cat tail like structure that has the new generation of solar fibers at the tip make the wave effect make it better than the traditional wind mill style ones. And when the wind isn't blowing, the solar cells are working. I hope that the solar helps these to continue to "wave" when the wind is not blowing. If we position these by the ocean who knows? Maybe we can take the energy from the waves to help these things keep waving when the sun and the wind isn't cooperating...we can't stop and give up now that we are OUT OF does me no good to complain that we had 30 years to get started. But with our mentality and same political structure...nothing will change. What WILL occur is human/meterological/terrioristic/solor flares disasters. That is all we have to look forward to. We will have reactionary scrambling to these events while mankind endures certain suffering and deaths

Yes they are killing us, and they don't care. They are only thinking of the bottom dollar. This is gotta end, or were going to die!!!!!!

It certainly won't end as long as spineless Obama's in the White house he's as worthless as the GOP!

I appears to me that compromising Obama is spineless. But, it may also be because the Bush-Cheney Administration removed all studies and other documents from the US EPA libraries during their reign, and closed the libraries, and even when Congress reordered the libraries to open, they were about the size of a lavatory.

Any study any industry who contributed to Bush and Cheney did not want, disappeared, and the studies were never replaced when Bush and Cheney left office. Perhaps, that's part of the reason the Obama administration has been unable to enforce the laws on the books or write new ones. Recall:

EPA Library Closings Limit Researchers’ Access to Information
from the Union for Concerned Scientists

August 21, 2006, PEER: EPA BEGINS CLOSING LIBRARIES BEFORE CONGRESS ACTS ON PLAN — End of Public Access to Technical Holdings as Original Collections Shuttered

Washington, DC —"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead this summer to shut down libraries, end public access to research materials and box up unique collections on the assumption that Congress will not reverse President Bush’s proposed budget reductions, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). At the same time, EPA’s own scientists are stepping up protests against closures on the grounds that it will make their work more difficult by impeding research, enforcement and emergency response capabilities...."
More at:

August 28, 2006 EPA ENFORCEMENT THREATENED BY LIBRARY CLOSURES — Prosecutions at Risk from Loss of Timely Access to Key Documents

EPA Resumes Quietly Dismantling Library System
Environmental Prosecutions at Risk from Loss of Original Documents and Cost

12-21-07, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility [PEER]: Congress Redirects EPA to ReOpen Its Libraries

May 21, 2008, PEER:
CLOSED EPA LIBRARIES TO RETURN IN LAVATORY-SIZED SPACES — Political Appointee Asserts Control over All Libraries, Repeals 30-Year-Old Manual

There is much more online.

Bush and Cheney did more damage to this country, which continues with the fracking than anyone else in history and ran up the federal deficit higher than Obama ever could.

I'm angry at Obama for what he's allowed to be done to clean, safe organic agriculture by the biotech-pesticide industry, allowing Vilsack to drive organic farmers out of business, and at the same time to kill or allow the States to kill the endangered wolves and other species that the biotech-pesticide industry wants out of their way. I'm angry that genetically modified corn and soy are being planted in the U.S. National Wildlife Refuges, currently in Louisiana and other states in the Southeast Region. Apparently, this is either to make certain that every farm or garden is contaminated with genetically modified corn and soy, and at the same time, to make certain that wildlife are also contaminated with untested, unregulated GMO's, as well. This means that everyone will ultimately get poisoned with Roundup and other herbicides and die from mysterious diseases, cancers, get severe allergies like the inability to swallow, a symptom of GERD --severe gastroesophageal reflux disease. Food crops once safe to eat will become toxic. Again, there are no regulations and no laws about poisoning us because the Greedy Ole Predators, in this case, George H. W. Bush and Dan Quayle appointed Monsanto's Michael Taylor to the FDA back in 1991 and he's still there. Everyone has been paid off by the biotech-petrochemical pesticide industry.

well said, and in truth, they are ALL entirely worthless and they are actually nothing more than two sides of the same big ugly destructive, greedy coin! there is no difference between repug's and demo's.. it is nothing but theater to keep us believing we have some sort of choice.. they all work for the same mafia!

Our Government is Ecocidal! Our planet is ravaged by profiteers who care nothing about the wasteland they create. Fracking must be judged for its safety and benefit to the whole stream of life. We need to challenge the wisdom of government that allows toxic chemicals to be put into the environment before knowing the long term consequences of their use. In 2005, the chemicals were hidden from scientific, public, and government oversite by a Gas & oil industry lobby. TRANSPARENCY WAS DEAD! Rather than protecting the Public from potential harm, the government not only gave approval to this process but did so without establishing serious accountability. We should question the MORAL RIGHT of government to leave its citizens unprotected from substances they could neither physically avoid nor publically question until the damage to property or Family health had occurred. Such callous arrogance will not be tolerated. One of the Basic Rights of any citizen is to be secure in his home against the intrusion of poisons applied by other persons. Through ignorance ,greed, and negligence government has allowed poisonous and biologically potent chemicals to fall indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. I reject the industry notion that there are human thresholds for such poisons, as well as the human body has assimilative capacities that render the poisons harmless.The Real Americans will disturb and disrupt Fracking with dignity and deliberation. They will also hold this industry and government accountable by any means!

I'd rather have you in the White House! Seems our legislators are determined to cause Americans to bow down & serve Corporate America...who dodges their taxes & pollutes our air, water & land.
Screw corporate America, their greed is an embarrassment to capitalism & democracy.

Very well phrased and I couldn't agree more. The average American is still unaware of how many leases are near their property. Until it is next door they will not be moved to do anything and then it is too late. The money being spent on ads for "clean natural gas" tells one that brain washing is constantly needed so the oil and gas industry can continue to control OUR environment. Clean air, clean water and a safe environment is OUR right as citizens. How else can one pursue happiness?

so true -
those pretty sparkling (mostly green, nature scenes with butterflies flittering about.. and so on) appear in most major airports performing a snow job on the average unaware passerby.. they are sickening for the most part, because they show nothing that really tells the horrors of it all.. perhaps they ought to be running films like 'Gasland' in the public areas and let people know what is really happening!

I couldn't agree more with your evaluation on what's happening to our planet because of greed. I have to admit that we have the absolute best government that money can buy!! To paraphrase Pres. Lincoln - "government OF the corporations, BY the corporations and FOR the Corporations"!! We are fighting "Fracking" in New York State at this very moment!!


Bravo !

I went to a legal seminar titled "Environmental Adventures in Real Estate" (or something like that..) here in Buffalo and they brought in an industry rep who assured us sealed gas wells won't have an effect on property values because, and he actually said this, they CAN'T LOCATE many of them. Sooo what if they leak? "They're probably not. We seal them really well."

Awesome. I feel so much better...

July 22, 2011, Arlington TX
Detailed medical impacts of those living in the Barnett Shale have been requested. The most infamous story I have is the night that two natural gas production drill sites spewed gases into two neighborhoods. This had Arlington 911 operators scrambling after realizing that identical events were unfolding across town at two different locations. When the electricity went out during a storm at two different compressor stations, it caused pressure to back up into the drill sites. When the primary automatic well shut in failed at both sites, the wells had to vent as a secondary safety measure. When preventing an explosion and PLAN B is gassing neighborhoods, urban drilling is NOT in the interest of public health.

Jane in SE Arlington lives a couple of blocks north of the Chesapeake Fulson site. In generalizing what Jane has told me, that since the drilling came in, she smells diesel in her back yard and that some of her neighbors that were healthy are now sick, and one that was sick is now dead (sudden heart issue), and one that had fibromyalgia now has it worse. Her reports to me would include her daughter and her husband each having an unusual nosebleed a day apart-her husband never gets nosebleeds. He went to the ER by ambulance with a urological emergency for a kidney stone a couple months after the April 11th emission event where fumes filled their home (Jane opened the windows after the power went out during a storm). Her husband has lost some mobility in his shoulder and fears not getting a job because of this. Prior to the Fulson site emission event of 4/11/2011, their neighbor’s teenage boy down the street had a nose bleed and the 8 year old neighbor girl had a HUGE nosebleed too (I was told that they were fracking when this happened). That little girl went on to being admitted to the hospital in late June. She woke up and couldn't move her body and was diagnosed with a blood virus and has since regained mobility.

The night of the gassing, Jane was treated by the Arlington EMT's at her home. She was sickened with the gasses that quickly filled her home and blanketed the neighborhood with a heavy something that had a filthy odor. She missed work from the trauma of the evening and shortly thereafter experienced teeth chattering and other symptoms that convinced her that she was having some kind of response to the exposure. Since drilling started in her area, she has complained to me of being extremely tired, having severe headaches (which once the site is not active, go away).

The elderly neighbor closest to the Fulson site had her grandkids move in (after drilling) and have been sick with respiratory issues. The woman would go to Wal-Mart and walk around during the active times of the drilling and fracking. I am told that she now has a rash that has the doctors baffled. She gets her water from her well. I was shocked to learn that she is not on municipal water like everyone else. Two homes on municipal water near the Fulson site had reports of milky looking water that later dissipates. I actually had a sample of a white milky fluid from the pipe at an Arlington park that busted after the hard freeze before the Super Bowl that left a trail of white, taffy like residue before it went into the Trinity East, yet my sample and I were escorted out of city hall when I tried to bring it to their attention.

After the Fulson emission event, I was at the mall with my 14 year old and his friend, Walker, who lived in the area and I asked him how he was doing since he was also about 1,200 feet downwind from the Ragland Site. He said funny I should ask as he just got out of the hospital. Walker was ill just hours after the Fulson event and was hospitalized on April 12 with a 105 fever and a swollen neck/enlarged lymph nodes. They were still huge when I felt one of them weeks later. He was on an IV drip and they used aspirins to control the fever. It is still unknown why his lymph nodes in his neck swelled up like that. Poor Walker is sandwiched between the Fulson site and the Ragland drill site. It was scary when I realized that my son visited Walker the night before the Fulson gas leak.

How coincidental it is that days before the Fulson site event that (April the 9th) another teenager, Eric, was hospitalized with similar symptoms of a 106 fever and a swollen neck. He too lives by a drill site near the Arlington
Airport. He did, however, test positive for mono and an extreme case of strep. He is a hockey player and I wondered if the zamboni machine was a gas powered engine and maybe if he had already been regularly exposed to benzene from indoor exhaust in addition to now living in the Arlington Gas Patch.

In speaking with Pam, a mother of a Seguin High School student, she told me she became alarmed at the smell and grabbed a security guard to tell him that she thought something was wrong with the drill site. The security guard commented “mam we have this drill site here now and this is what we (normally) smell”.

My son has already had four medical incidents that I can't help but feel was drilling exposure related. We are about a mile downwind (to the north) of the UTA 22 gas wells. My son, Graham, was lethargic for ten days just after playing outside on a Friday snow "white out" event in Feb 2010. By that Sunday, he was really tired. Monday and Tues he was fine I thought, but I did think he had an inner ear issue from wax build up.

Wednesday, he went to school feeling bad and needed to be picked up 1/2 a day with flu like symptoms, tired headache, nauseated, but no fever. He stayed home Thurs & Friday complaining of being dizzy, his head feeling scrambled, tired like he has been running, although feeling anxious/hyper like he needs to run to work it off.

Friday morning I noticed his eyes were dilated real big and stayed like that for a while, we both moved from room to room-mine were always smaller than his. So I flashed a light into his eyes and then it responded and got small. He said he was having some rapid breathing, and that this all came in waves. So I took him to his pediatrician who ordered blood work and prescribed over the counter medicine to relieve sinus pressure. Saturday he felt bad, but went with us shopping, Sunday he said he was fine and went to church (stayed inside-no exertion) and later to music practice. Monday, I sent him to school (which is also downwind a couple of blocks from a Carrizo drill site) and he tried out for the track team, ran twice, didn't really exert himself a whole lot, but three hours later the wave of symptoms came back again, even worse than before. I had to pick him up early from school-he could not bound the stairs like he usually does.

I took him back to the doctor. The blood work we did earlier on his first visit was back and there were no abnormalities in his CBC but the tests were repeated and still the blood work, sinus and chest x-rays did not reveal anything. He took antibiotics and was limited in what he could do. I noticed that Tuesday night he tried to be normal and play the guitar, but it wiped him out, but he had a window of about two hours that he seemed to not be bothered with the waves of symptoms. He was so lethargic, he did not get up at all except to eat and pee. Then he said the rapid breathing put a pressure on his chest making him feel like it's hard to breathe during these “BP” episodes of headache, nausea, scrambled head, tiredness. But DIZZINESS was his biggest complaint that he said came about every two hours or when he moved around in just sitting up or lying down. This wave lasts about an hour; so technically, half of his life for a seven day period had been in dizziness and caused him to miss five straight days of school.

A couple of weeks after his mysterious illness subsided; I let him go bike riding at his friend’s house that lives near the Pantego drill site. I remember dropping him off and freaking out cause I saw how close his friend lived to the drill site. Within an hour and a half, my (then 13 year old) son called me "crying" to pick him up with a severe pressure in his eardrum. We caught it in time before it burst. He has not cried in years so I knew he was in real pain.

A year later, (January 2011), they started fracking five consecutive gas wells near his school in Pantego. See youtube “Fracking at Bailey Junior High” of the compressors in action. I also reported later to TCEQ a white plume that resulted in no violations with the exception of a note of a slight diesel smell. By mid February after a couple more doctor visits, my son was told he was asthmatic now.

Our third round of blood tests included heavy metals, allergies and BTEX testing, however only the allergies for animal dander and dust mites came back positive. Thankfully there was no high BTEX readings, but I wasn’t surprised because he was not outside the week leading up to his BTEX test and the driller ceased fracking a couple of times just prior to his blood testing. His BTEX results will serve to be a baseline for when they start drilling in our neighborhood this summer. If those dizzy spells come back, then I am prepared to do more BTEX testing.

I'll never forget how he claimed to have felt "out of his head" and had trouble concentrating in school. He's told me that one or twice before since he's been at Bailey, but I didn't make the connection until later. His junior high experience was truly fracked.

Regarding the compressor station #1 in Arlington at East Harris/Eden near Cooper, I met a lady whose granddaughter has been in the hospital in Nov 2010 for respiratory issues. She had her blood tested in December, but has since changed her phone number and may not live near the Arlington Compressor Station anymore. I drove around her neighborhood and asked five different families about any unusual nosebleeds and one said that the nose bleeding has increased in one family member.

Regina was living downwind from Arlington Compressor Station #1 on Spitfire Drive. She told me she's been sick with respiratory issues ever since it came in. Three times in November she went to the emergency room. She also took her 7 year old granddaughter in the middle of the night to the emergency room and claimed the child was literally drowning in her mucus. She told me sometimes she smelled fumes in the girl’s bedroom. There also is a drill site to the north of her that was fracking last December.

I never asked her about nosebleeds....she offered this info to me. She said her granddaughter used to have maybe 3 nose bleeds a year, but increased to 3 times a month. Last I spoke to her she was having three nosebleeds A DAY! She didn't want to be identified when interviewed by the Ft Worth Weekly for fear of not being able to sell her home. Look at this link to see the area where she lives, then scroll down to the south and enlarge image to the compressor station #1 (what is in that pond?)

I interviewed a lady who works in an export business on Eden road that backs up to the field where Arlington Compressor Station #1 is. She told me her and some others have complained that their asthma and allergies have worsened ever since the compressor station came in.

My son's school teacher moved to Denham Drive which is north west of Cooper downwind from the Arlington Compressor Station #1. She said after they moved in, that they have been having allergy attacks. Even the cat's eyes are dripping. In the end of May, I saw her with a cane and not very mobile. She said she has arthritis and the wreck she had last January made things worse. But when I worked with her weeks earlier, she wasn't using a cane. Seeing her struggling to get around reminded me of the young woman from DISH TX that lost her mobility, moved to Ft Worth - got better- only to relapse when drilling moved into Ft Worth. Hmmm?

Here is some health info on my neighborhood near the Cowboy Stadium, GM (and their gas wells), UTA (and their 22 gas wells), along with high traffic, and lots of paint & body shops. My representative, Pro driller Councilman LeBlanc, has told me that he figured that GM emits about 370 tons a year (toxic risk dot com said 190 tons per year for 2007). With our predominant southerly winds, we have been downwind from GM and the UT Arlington wells. GM is planning to expand this plant and Arlington TX city council has approved even more gas wells at the GM plant.

Prior to drilling, being pregnant and working across the street from GM (north-downwind) was no picnic. In my first trimester, I had liver failure. In my last trimester I had Bells Palsy on the right side of my face. My first born was jaundice at birth and has lived with a persistent asthmatic cough that is his trademark sound.

Starting last summer, I collected over 500 signatures to fight the proposed natural gas drilling site in my neighborhood. I was alarmed to find a cluster of health effects that already existed. Living on Truman St, was a three year old under nursing care who was born with Prader Willis Syndrome and needs to be fed through a tube-he also has asthma. Across the street at least one child named Angel is asthmatic. At the corner of Truman and North Street, Jonathan came to our neighborhood already having asthma. I was proud of him for speaking in defense of his health at the city council meeting. Our effects could not fight off the money Chesapeake started throwing around to ensure drilling happened at that “tightly spaced” location. Now these low income renters with children, teenagers and young adults will be living within 600 feet of a drill site. It is also important to note that this Truman drill site will be within 2,500 feet of the Cowboy Stadium (a great terrorist target I might add).

Near Truman to the west at the 400 block of East St, and one more block to the west at the 400 block of Elm, which is where I live, we each have a teenager that has a speech impediment. My son’s chin was quivering when I first held him. I knew then that something might not be perfect with his health. I suspect this may be from living downwind from GM and all this localized city pollution prior to gas drilling.

My husband and my mother-in-law who lives across the street from us have both been treated for skin cancer. To the north of her, one of my tenants miscarried about 7 years ago (pre-drilling, so maybe GM?). The replacement tenant that lived there next had breast cancer two years ago (UT Arlington near us leased their state land for drilling in 2006). I worry now about the new family living there with three small boys. The man living next to them has MS. My neighbor two doors down has had a history of stomach illnesses (before drilling), and now recently has vertigo (after drilling). A young man died in his sleep next to their home last year. A lady at the corner of my street is a cancer survivor and should not be subjected to area emissions as well as another lady living at the corner of East and North behind me has fibromyalgia, is mental ill, and will surely be at risk once the drilling starts about 1,000 feet behind her. I’ve been told that the family within 400 feet of our new drill site has been living there for almost 20 years and the mother also has mental illness. I can only guess how the industrial lights, noise, traffic and odors will affect her.

My previous exposures to chemicals may have played a role in the canary effect. Looking back, 25 years ago I had similar urologic, heart, & sinus issues when I used to live and work near the petroleum plants in Norco Louisiana. I now search my memory and realize that living and working so close has made me more sensitive to chemical and it only is getting worse. I remember me any my girlfriend franticly itching our noses together. Her eyes were always red and runny. My other girlfriend and a co-worker lived with horrible migraines and one of my friends died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage. My x mother-in-law died from stomach cancer; she worked across the street from Shell Oil. I ended up having surgery on my sinuses and was under the care of urologist and cardiologist.

When I moved to Arlington, I immediately lost my voice (the humidity change was crazy-but I also worked across the street from GM). While my sinuses have improved since leaving Norco LA, since drilling in Arlington, I have occasional overly dry sinuses. Sometimes I wake in the night gasping for air and running for water and it is horrifying. I'm thinking the culprit is those glycol dehydrators. If so, they have the effect of a “decongestant on crank”.

After moving to Arlington, I've had colon/gastrological issues and worry about my exposure from the Louisiana refineries. Now I wonder about our exposure from GM and often smell a sickly sweet odor in the air that I've called 911 twice on before. Several years ago, I drove by GM and smelled a rotten egg odor and realized THEY were drilling too! I called 911 complaining that I thought that I moved away from the refineries. I told them that I didn't want to live and breathe industrial chemicals anymore.

In 2006, UT Arlington started drilling about a mile downwind of where we live. Currently they have 22 wells on their college campus and may be planning to stack 100 more. Looking back, I recall going through a phase of feeling jittery, nervous, anxious and clenching my jar (I notice my husband does that jar clenching too). Then it went away...either my body got used to the toxins in our air, or it was under control, or the toxins were blowing in a different direction. I thought my coffee was messing with me, but I had NOT been drinking any more coffee than usual.

Since drilling, I have feelings of panic, depression and impending doom. Once last year, both my son and I had shoulder muscle twitching at the same time. Now my husband says his shoulder is sore (Jane's husband is at the doctor for his shoulder as I type this). We recently had to buy a new mattress, but we still have pain. When I got on the hormones for (early?) menopause in Q1 of 2010, I had a pain in my right glut that went away I thought when my body got used to the hormone. When I took myself off of those hormones about 9 months later (November 2010), my hip started hurting again. I took myself off of the hormones caused I felt I had too many chemicals in and around me. My right hip continues to feel like I have a pulled muscle deep in my glut-like a bruise that won't go away. In January I started keeping a diary, my diary starts off with “hip pain since October, eye twitching since November”……..
Jan 19, smelled very brief rotten egg odor outside my door 7:40 pm, I was clinching my jar.
Jan 24, smelled fingernail polish odor 8 am
Jan 30, eye twitch (left eye-normally it was the right eye)
Feb 7, eye twitching (not as much)
Feb 10, sickly sweet odor 7-8 pm
Feb 24-26, fingers cold/poor circulation
March 4, rapid heart beat
March 8, eye twitch started again
March 10, rapid heart beat, jittery, eye twitching
March 11-12, had to wear cotton gloves inside -miserable from poor circulation in fingers
March 15, eye twitch
March 16, nervous feeling, eye twitch
March 19, eye twitch
March 27-28, eye twitch
April 1, nose bleed upon waking up, eye twitch
April 5, eye twitch
April 6, clenching jar
April 16, eye twitch
April 17, persistent, eye twitch
April 19, eye twitch
April - continued to have eye twitching and once my son and I BOTH had unexplained shoulder pain
April 27, tinnitus/ear ringing
May 4, gastroenterologist advised early colon screening, will wait a 1 ½ years so Aetna will cover the cost at age 50.
May 10, eye twitching, heart muscle spasm at 2pm, heart arrhythmia 6 pm- terrifying event.
May 12, rubbing eyes, jittery, and grinding/tightness in my jar from about 3-8pm.
May 15, heart palpitation episode.
May 17, eye twitching.
June 5, my 14 year old son complained of being jittery & feeling run down, I had eye twitching.
June 8, another heart palpitation episode
June 10- July 22, I still awake with tingling fingers, sore finger joints, stiff hip and shoulder
June 15, new sensitivity to light, ongoing sensitivity to loud sounds and tinnitus

In June and early July, we had some straight days of a sickly sweet smell just at dark, again after 8pm, and then as late as 10 pm. I think GM uses their smokestacks at night, or that sweet smell is glycol floating from the huge UT Arlington drill site. I have been suspicious that being down wind from GM has continued to worsen my hearing sensitivity and may have contributed to colorectal issues that have been ongoing since living in Arlington. My vision is steadily getting worse, but I'll be 49 this year, so that may be normal. I did want to mention that over the last two years when I drove through the refineries in Baton Rouge, I have had two separate episodes of extreme teeth sensitivity.

I believe those people who are already sensitive or predisposed to sensitivity seem to react (the canary effect) more when living in the gas patch. Only time will tell how far reaching and at what risk we will undertake living and working in the gas patch. Royalty checks won’t be able to buy good health.

I also have info on animal health issues. My parrot that I’ve had for at least 12 years now is sneezing more than I've ever seen. Jane's 150 pound dog (who slept under the open window that night they were gassed) was having trouble walking the day after the Fulson site. I have photos of two dead Mexican Hawks just after the storm in a large field nearby. Jane’s chickens have stopped laying eggs since the gassing event, and one “Harriet” chicken unexpectedly died last month. It is worth mentioning that around the same time another chicken died that was downwind from the Dalworthington Compressor Station. The owner, Betty, lives about a mile north/downwind of the compression station. On May 12, 2011 when she was investigating a loud sound that she thought was the compressor station acting up, she let her cat ride with her in the car. In getting close to the facility, she had to turn around because the cat started vomiting and never did that in her car before. Turns out the XTO drill site south of the compressor station was having its fourth emission event this year. Betty complains to me of her respiratory issues. She has mentioned to me twice about having a metallic taste in her mouth. She is now sensitive to the odor from her gas stove. Interestingly, she retired from GM and I heard that she spoke of a "blue haze" inside the plant. The retired GM employee's daughter emailed me and told me that when she comes to visit her mother, that in a couple of days that “she” begins to feel ill and doesn't stay long.

Another elderly lady living in Pantego that is also downwind from the XTO site and the Dalworthington Gardens Compressor Station was hospitalized in December for pneumonia. One of our area’s fire chief reportedly has a wife in a late stage of leukemia. An 80 year old woman that also lives in the area recently moved out of state after being diagnosed with leukemia. My dental assistant’s husband in Grand Prairie died of pancreatic cancer as did a lady who’s husband worked out in West Texas. I met another lady whose dad was in the oil and gas business that also died of pancreatic cancer. A young pastor from an area Methodist Church suddenly died from a brain hemorrhage related to leukemia a few months ago. An athletics coach at a private high school in Arlington died months ago from…leukemia. A lady living in my bible study living in the Lake Arlington area (where we have had high formaldehyde and carbon disulfide readings at the Lake Arlington Compressor Station near the Excel on Power Plant) died from a fast acting cancer.

Disenchanted with the thought of praying for those with cancer and not involving themselves with the POLITICS of fighting the polluters causing it, I dropped out of my bible study group. I believe in doing more than just praying for those afflicted by our cancer epidemic. Now another lady in my former bible study class is battling breast cancer. I realize people have been dying from cancers and leukemia all along, but never in all my almost 50 years of life have I seen this much at once, and it just happens to be AFTER WE ALLOWED URBAN DRILLING! I did not use any search engines to find out about these recent deaths. I did see on a Facebook page about a young girls fight with neuroblastoma called “Kick it Kodi”.

Those that read this please help us spread the stories about the risks we take living in the gas patch and be vocal to our city council to stop the madness. It took many years and others before me stomping and screaming about the YWCA Childcare Center at UT Arlington to get this daycare moved from being 300 feet downwind from this huge on campus gas production site! Those toddlers are the closest to those wells. At the daycare center, I met a caregiver who was an African American, pregnant, & possibly low income. She was relieved to know that the state tester from Austin did some radiation readings and said that all was normal. She said that they could not let the children outside on "busy" days because the odors were too strong. Personally, just standing near there, especially on the fence line makes me feel sick.

Last I heard, the daycare will finally be moved after FIVE years. Rumor has it that it is only because they want to add 100 more “stacked” wells. I was outraged to learn that our city gas well inspections will NOT include the UT Arlington site because it is on state property. “If it isn’t mandated, why care?” That seems to be the industry, local, state and federal government’s motto. And if industry can write their own “rules of the game”, then the politicians are kept fat and happy while the rest of us have to spend our lives working to protect our families from these atrocities. At some point soon we will have to take to the streets to fight these “game changers” that bring industry into our neighborhoods so we can them from making profits while we get cancer.

Law abiding, tax paying, “environmental volunteer to earn my rent on this planet”,

This sounds like Nazi Germany. How can our government who is by the people and for the people allow big biz to do this? Its all because of money and greed.
I feel we need to make some drastic choices and take back the country from greed. Until we get money out of polotics it will not stop. If we vote the bad ones out, big biz will just buy the new ones we put in.

Get the money out of politics -


I travel through-out PA and the southern tier of NY state. I do not see the "toxic waste dump that PA has turned into" that you speak of.

Have you ever visited a natural gas drill site after the process has been completed and the site has been "reclaimed"?

There are construction products for the access roads and gas drilling pad sites that does look unsightly while under construction. These are no more "ugly" than the construction of roads, bridges, rail lines for public use, ports and docks, schools, public works facilities, public housing projects etc. while under construction. Once completed they look fine and blend in with nature.
There have been accidents caused by human errors and mechanical failures. That is why they are called accidents. Look at the accidents that occur everyday. We do not stop building roads, roads, buildings or stop flying, driving, traveling by rail, ship, and other means due to accidents.
We learn from these accidents and improve technology and regulations to reduce these accidents.

We need this natural gas for our energy needs and to reduce our demand on foreign oil. I would like to see more energy come from solar, wind and geo-thermal. That technology is not yet developed to satisfy our current and future needs.
If it were available and cost efficient energy companies would be doing it. The cost for each well "fracked" in PA is between 3 and 5 million. Energy companies are investing huge amounts of capital hoping to see a return on their investment in the future. OIt will be many years before they see a return on investment.

Have you been to any of the current wind farms. They are operating at less than 35% capacity by industries calculations. If not in our back yard where?
What are your solutions?
Robert, I would love to compare my electric bill to yours. My "carbon footprint" is minimal.
I want clean water and no pollution for my family. What are your solutions?
Are you using all solar and wind for your energy needs?
From your attitude I would assume that you do not drive or use public transportation that uses propane, gas or electric. You do not use electricity, fuel oil or natural gas to heat your home.

Please tell us your detailed green energy usage.
my email is
I look forward to discussing this issue with you.

Rynstone - are ya NUTS? Have ya lost your marbles?! ... or are you being paid the gas industry?

I'll address your points:

1. Who gives a sheet what a reclaimed natgas drill site looks like when it's spewing toxins into our air/water due via fracking for years going forward? The guards who send millions to the gas chambers in Germany were very well dressed too.

2. We're not talking about fracking 'accidents', we're talking about plain vanilla fracking, per se. It gasses the people within a large proximity to the site, and makes them permanently sick - unable to contribute to our society and a drain on everyones resources, and it pollutes the water for miles and miles around.

3. So, fracking for natgas is better than using foreign oil, is that your argument? That natgas is better than the worst alternative? Yeah, I'm really convinced by that.

4. You'd like to see 'more energy come from solar, wind and geo-thermal, [but] that technology is not yet developed to satisfy our current and future needs'. So, how do you think it will get developed? Do you think that, poof!, one day our dirty coal, oil, and natgas indiustries appeared by magic? Industries evolve. But no clean energy industry will evolve if everyone throws up their hands in defeat, like you, before we even get started.

5. 'If it were available, and cost efficient, energy companies would be doing it' Wrong. Clean energy sources and technologies ARE available, the reason they're not comparatively cost efficient right now is all the govvie subsidy money is going to dirty energy.

6. Not sure how an energy company's investment is relevant here. Energy companies are in the business of making investments for the future - that's what they DO. It's their business to cover their own ROI. Well, their business, and OUR business what they do with the billions of taxpayer money that gets plowed into their current business strategy and lobbying effort to support the status quo.

7. Been to a wind farm. Love it. PLEASE put one in my lovely backyard, so I can become a wealthy independent energy producer too. Can't wait!

8. A pissing contest over whose carbon footprint is bigger? No thank you. I don't give a sheet what your carbon footprint is if your chosen energy source is poisoning our environment just the same as carbon does - in many cases even worse.

9. If the current energy conglomerates remain opposed to the new clean energy technology - they'll go the way of the horse-n-buggy. That's how the market works.

10. Your parting sentence is just a cheap shot. ... and a poorly conceived one at that. People can/should/will continue to agitate for a change to clean energy, they will continue to make changes in their personal habits, and they will continue to point-out flawed, ridiculous arguments like yours. Even within, and especially within, the confines of the current system. That's how change happens, my friend.

Rynstone, you pose some very good points , thank you.. and I will attempt to address them.

first off, there is a very high likelood (or not) that your carbon footprint may be smaller than my footprint. I am constantly examining my footprint and looking for ways to reduce it in anyway I possibly can. This is not really my point in the larger scheme of things no matter how much we all seek to reduce our carbon print, we are provided with very few clean energy solutions, we are forced to go along with the status quo and make do and blame ourselves for global warming and so on. (by the way, I don't drive, except rare times I leave the city to the country, I walk and bicycle everywhere, including the grocery, etc).
I don't claim to have all the answers, however, what I am quite certain of with regards to the present energy options we are told we have available to us present, (including fracking, natural gas, etc) is lacking and we are not being told the entire story of what other vast, limitless sources of energy are not being explained or put into effect. I won't attempt to go into all the various energy forms I have uncovered in my research, I will simply urge others to step out of the mental construct of what we are told is truth and seek further beyond that and you will find we are not being told the entire picture.
one will soon come to realize that limitless, free, clean energy available to all, would not serve the best interests of the control system that calls all the shots at present - including implementing 'laws' that prevent gas co's from being held liable for any misconduct, accidents and so on.. OR, any such laws that make it unnecessary to disclose what the chemical makeup of fracking fluids may be to those that wish to know for the health and safety of themselves, families and so on.. only fair, right? and who would seek to implement such laws if that are hidden and done in the backrooms without public awareness, unless they were seeking to hide something unpleasant? its pretty obvious isn't it?

I would disagree with your minimizing so called 'accidents' and things like oil wells blending in with nature - I won't spend a whole lot of time on this, because so many things are more than obvious.. such as the fact that bridges aren't spewing toxic gases and smoke into the air 24/7, bridge accidents happen, yes , however thousands perhaps millions of life's are not at risk downstream and beyond and so on.. many things we do to the natural environment are more than unsightly and negligent and we learn to live with them. this is no excuse really. I cannot agree with you that it is harmless to stick these potentially fatally hazardous rigs in the middle of our food producing regions (or anywhere else for that matter). things such as the more recent spill in northern Pa take place and noone really knows (only claims they know) the widespread effects of such a spill. surely you saw pictures of the cows standing in the green grass fields with fracking fluids (unknown ingredients) flowing across their hooves while the grazed. is this the kind of world you would like to see? and would you REALLY eat the beef that came from these fields or eat vegetables grown in these fields? I can hardly think you would.

you mentioned this:
We need this natural gas for our energy needs and to reduce our demand on foreign oil. I would like to see more energy come from solar, wind and geo-thermal. That technology is not yet developed to satisfy our current and future needs.
If it were available and cost efficient energy companies would be doing it << are you sure about this? you give the very companies that do not share an ounce of their wealth with the state of PA for what they extract here beneath our feet, WAY TOO MUCH AUTHORITY AND CREDIT! I would urge you to research deeper into what other available technologies out there are being withheld and supressed by the few in order to maintain their tight grip on control and profit. don't be so quick to assume these are benign little entities looking out for our best interests and the environment. any company or politician that seeks to convince you that causing such long term damage to the environment is either very misinformed themselves or is playing on the same side as the profit driven gas companies (of which, by the way, are mostly not even based in the state of PA or NY but states outside here. !! ) << how does it feel that our state is being so vastly polluted with spills, accidents and intention dumps and the revenues from it are being shipped to other states economies, meanwhile your basic social services here are being stripped down to nothing? that doesn't feel to good to me actually and we are being sold a complete bill of goods here in PA .

you most likely won't see the waste being spilled and dumped, nor the rigs along major state roads and interstates - I somewhat doubt they would want to display their activities for the public to view firsthand.. this may stir up way more controversary than they would care to deal with at once. How are you going to necessarily 'see' where there has been a dump or a spill if it has been dumped into a river or stream, or across a field somewhere? water tests have already shown it has been dumped into the philly water supply many times. I suggest you do more research into this, visit and observe the number of violations in PA alone and let me know how you feel after spending some time with that.

I hope I have explained my 'attitude' thoroughly enough for now.


you are either incredibly gullible, ignorant, or work for the gas company. There is overwhelming evidence of the environmental and human devastation this type of activity brings the areas they drill in. Read the other comments and then.. let's put one in your backyard so you can experience for yourself the illnesses and lack of potable drinking water.

"If it were available and cost efficient energy companies would be doing it."

The fact that the technology IS available and cost efficient is precisely why Big Energy companies are lobbying so hard to keep government subsidies flowing their way and pouring money into ad campaigns that extoll the mantra that "alt energy isn't ready yet. you still need us." Even if it can't cover 100% of our energy needs today, there's no need to continue dragging our feet on even starting to make it happen.

Yes, accidents happen, but I've gone through the health reports and have gotten data from the Pennsylvania EPA enough to show these aren't "accidents" (as in, an error we couldn't have predicted). They're frequent and continuous and not worth the costs to human and environmental health.

You are obviously an agent of the evil empire posting here to spread your dis-information.
People like you are what is wrong on planet earth.

You don't see a toxic waste dump in PA because most of the pollution caused by fracking is underground mixing with our water supplies. Why do you think Bush made it so the fracking companies don't have to reveal the toxic mix of chemicals and diesel fuel they are pumping into the ground? Bush made those regulations weak to keep the public ignorant about the dangers to our water sources and by extension the dangers to our health. If the chemicals used for fracking are so benign, then why don't the frackers have to disclose them? Don't even try to say that it's protecting the patent on the process. Fracking was invented in the 40's by, guess who?...Haliburton. The patent has long since expired. The resultant wastewater, which is processed by local sewage plants is not subject to any regulation, but has been sampled and tested by concerned parties. It has levels of radioactivity between 100 and 267 times the limit allowed for drinking water after it has been treated. It is treated by sewage plants that have no means of measuring radioactivity and then dumped in rivers that supply drinking water. It's like air. You may not see it, but you know it's there. Just because you don't see the pollution while driving through PA doesn't mean it's not there. It sounds like you may be working for the frackers, but if you're not, then get your head out of the sand!

In NY, as elsewhere, it is all about the money. Fracking will come. Here in Syracuse, as well as in NYC, theoretically our watersheds will be protected from fracking, but scientists are right in saying the protected areas are not adequate. Yet our local Syracuse politicians, with a few exceptions, stay quiet. They are willing to see us lose our local lake water supply for the money.

for areas still "thinking" about fracking and not yet in drilling mode, now is the time to organize and lobby your local politicians. yes big money matters but they can't receive any of it if they are NOT elected. They need your vote more than the money! so... the more people that sign petitions that translate into votes that can or cannot get them elected hold the power! get involved, get organized and speak out! you CAN make a difference and stop it!

Well, you'll just have to show them that money isn't all it takes to keep their job! Go for it! We're with you.

We could use some targeted help with Andrew Cuomo in New York State..... with his national aspirations, Cuomo seems hell bent for having it despite the huge public outcry and resistance and the presumed Moratorium in effect. It's politics, not people, not the environmental concerns. Fracking will never be safe, it's by definition asking for disaster. Allowing fracking is like licensing terrorism.

agree totally - I have felt like the 'moratorium' in NY has been nothing less than theater to keep the masses quieted somewhat, until the time was right for NY to take its turn in the big mess. NY has most likely been stepping back and observing as PA being the blueprint of what to do, not to do and the expected amount of backlash.. while politicians /agenda makers all along knew the moritorium would be lifted and drilling would take place at some point.
we all know what a toxic waste-dump PA has turned into because of it! the best part for PA however and most people you speak with here haven't a clue, is that the state gets ZERO revenue from the gas drilling! the pig whale of a governor knows it, while budget cutting all over the place and continuing to make it so that his gas buddies are even more doused in money. Naturally Pennsylvanians, already over taxed and stressed, will pick up the tab for decades, lifetimes, to clean up the toxic mess! those that survive it all that is.

it is all very sickening to say the least and we can only hope that NY state is somehow spared from it -seriously though , and without sounding too pessimistic, I pretty much doubt it will be spared.

Robert...You need to be speaking widely...not to the choir. I vote for you to lead this last noble effort!

LOL .. am working on it, thanks for the boost.
it is all becoming so clear how the 'system' was set up from the get-go! right? something not really taught on episodes of American Idol sadly.. !

Hey, watch West Wing. You'll see how sausage is made.

clearly these people (gas co's, politicians, whoever else is involved), will do anything at the expense and life's of others, including nature herself, in order to turn a buck. they aren't going to stop folks, in spite of the clear evidence of the dangers, unless we all band together someday soon (before it is too late) and realize these fake, made up man-made-laws are worth nothing more than the paper they were written on! They stink, they are meaningless and the majority of us had no idea they were being written behind our backs while we were being spoon-fed Brad and Angelina's latest baby pictures!

there comes a time, when we all must face the dark reality that as long as we keep agreeing to someone elses' 'laws' that were intended for their own personal gain and nothing else, then those who wrote them , will continue to use them and continue to destroy the earth and its inhabitants. let's understand that once she's so far gone that she can no longer sustain us here, what will we do then(?) - besides look back on our pathetic story and wish to hell we had had the courage in ourselves to face these people that think they are not only 'entitled' to all this, but think they rule and call the shots here on planet earth. it is so WRONG this is about our earth, our home and NOT THEIR GAIN folks -! these laws mean nothing when they are written to advance the gain of a few and not the general well being of the planet and the rest of us. they are absolutely 100% fake!

let's forget about all the things put before us to distract our attention away from these matters - I know it is tough to turn off American Idol or Dancing with the Stars or the latest Jennifer Aniston announcement, these are very important issues , I know.. but it is nearing the point of NO RETURN, if we don't force ourselves to wake up to the shocking reality that was created FOR US, AND AROUND US -RIGHT NOW!
there could come a time, when there will be no more American Idol to zone out with!

LET US ALL BAND TOGETHER AND UNDERSTAND , WE MUST PLACE OUR EARTH BEFORE ALL ELSE!! these people in their illusion of 'power', whom we have entrusted such delicate matters, have countless times proved, they are zero percent worthy of solving problems, taking things in the right direction, or speaking out in the best interests of the planet and those of us that care dearly for her!! is it not obvious by now, even to those lost in the world of dancing with the stars, that these folks are out for their own SELF INTERESTS??

let's get to it , and NOW!

Please see my reply to your comment. I replied as a comment.

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