ATSDR Initial Study Finds Elevated Levels of Radon Gas, Radium in Polycythemia Vera Study Area in Pennsylvania

ATLANTA (7/2014)—Some homes in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill counties of Pennsylvania have elevated levels of radon gas in indoor air and radium in soils, according to a health consultation released today by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Researchers were unable to determine if a cluster of cases of Polycythemia Vera (PV) in people living in the counties is related to exposures to the substances.

The report provides an analysis of radiologic sampling information researchers reviewed to learn more about the possible cluster of PV cases in northeastern Pennsylvania. PV is a rare form of cancer of the blood that causes the body to make too many red blood cells. It occurs more often in men than women, and is rare in patients under age 40.

“Based on analysis of the samples, ATSDR considers the exposures to radon gas in indoor air at these homes to be of public health concern and encourages residents living in the study area to have their homes tested,” said Lora Werner, Director, ATSDR Region III. “The elevated levels of radium in soils are not considered to be a health risk but may be worthy of further study.”

At the request of ATSDR, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) collected and analyzed environmental samples within the tri-county area and ATSDR evaluated the possible health effects of exposure to the radiological elements in the samples.

The ATSDR report also found:

  • Some houses in the study area had elevated levels of radon gas in indoor air. Radon gas was also found in the private well water of some homes.
  • Soils from the study area had slightly elevated levels of radium.
  • Without additional information, ATSDR cannot determine if the cluster of cases of PV disease in the tri-county area is related to the radiological exposures observed in the environmental sampling information.

This report is part of a larger investigation of the cluster of cases of PV in northeast Pennsylvania. Overall, there are 18 projects in four areas for investigation: epidemiology, genetics, toxicology, and environmental analysis. The findings of these projects will provide information about PV and other blood disorders, as well as share information on environmental investigations in the study area.

ATSDR recommends:

  • All residents in the study area should have their homes tested for radon gas. Houses with elevated radon levels should be retested. If a home is retested and elevated radon levels continue, residents should contact the state of Pennsylvania radon program hotline at 1-800-237-2366 and request additional information on how to reduce the radon levels in the home.
  • People in homes with high levels of radon in their drinking water should contact the PADEP Radon Program for assistance. Home water supplies can be treated to reduce radon levels.

The health consultation report on radon gas and radium in the PV study area is available at:www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera.

For more information, please call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636). Please request information about: “Review of Radiological Data Measured in the Polycythemia Vera Investigation Study Area in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill Counties.

Our Radon Portal – Links to Air and Water Testing -Outside of Study Area –http://www.water-research.net/index.php/radon

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ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

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Pipeline Panel Discussion Northeastern Pennsylvania

Wilkes University is hosting a panel discussion entitled “Gas Pipelines in Northeastern PA: Challenges and Solutions” on Thursday, 19 March between 7:30 P.M. – 9:30 P.M.  The session will be held in Stark Learning Center, Room 101.  The event is free.

The purpose of the session will be to offer the public a balanced perspective on natural gas pipeline development.  Regulatory, planning, and landowner issues to protect PAs citizens and its environment while allowing for infrastructure development will be explored.

Panelists will include Mike Mara (UGI Energy Services), Dave Horn (LIUNA), Davitt Woodwell (Pennsylvania Environmental Council), Paul Metro (Pennsylvania Utility Commission), Josh Longmore (Luzerne County Conservation District), State Senator John T. Yudichak, Kenneth Klemow (Wilkes University), and Brian Oram (BF Environmental Consultants Inc).

The anticipated format will involve panelists responding to a series of prepared questions, followed up by moderated questions from the audience.

Ken

 Directions to Campus

Campus Map (You want Stark Learning Center)

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Links

Online Training Courses Related to Natural Gas Development
Sustainability Training
Stream Restoration Courses

Gas pipelines in Northeastern PA: Challenges and Solutions

Gas pipelines in Northeastern PA: Challenges and Solutions

 

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New PSA – Public Service Announcement Videos Pennsylvania Groundwater

The Keystone Clean Water Team would like to this opportunity to thank our current sponsors and supporters who aided in creating our first set of PSAs.   It has been a great year.   The first set of public service announcements can be found on the Organizations YouTube Site.   The Videos are as follows:

1. Getting Your Water Tested Can Cost as Little As $ 50.00 – Only Costs $ 50.00

2. Hidden Contamination in Your Water – Looks Clear – It is Ok?

3. Got Coliform Bacteria – Do NOT Panic !

4. Water Testing – It is Easy!  (Annual Water Quality Testing – Baseline Testing – Natural Gas)

5. We Could Use Some Help – Help Us Help You and Our Community !

Please share on social media, like and share our sites on facebook, and we do Tweet. Get our Educational Booklet and Check out Our Amazon Store.

Featured Product – Well Safe – Something Every Well Owner Should Have on the Shelf !

 

Thanks

Sponsors – We can use some help!

Thank You to Our Current Sponsors and Supporters
Carbon County Environmental Education Center
Greg Sorber Well Drilling –204 Niemchik Rd, Hunlock Creek, PA 18621 · (570) 477-5393
RGA Public Relations
White Knight Productions Inc.
B.F. Environmental Consultants
Practical Law and Life
Groundwater Foundation – Groundwater Guardian Program

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For the New or Future Water Well Owner Homebuyer in Pennsylvania

Welcome to Pennsylvania and Welcome to Managing Your Own Small Water Company

In Pennsylvania,  there are generally no specific construction standards for private wells and there is only some general guidance with respect to well placement and construction.  Further, private well water is not regulated by the EPA or PADEP and therefore it is up to YOU to check your water to ensure that the well produces good clean and adequate water.    This is only a short summary of the information.  If you are interested we offer a Private Well Owner Training Course that can be offered as a Workshop for Your Community, Association, or other Organization.

There are a number of steps to this process and well will break them down as follows:

Well Placement
Well Construction
Well Testing (Yield and Quality)
Well Maintenance
Annual Water Testing

Well Placement
In general, the primary guidance with to water well placement in Pennsylvania is that a water well should be 100 feet from a septic system (regulated), 50 feet from a septic tank (regulated), 10 feet from a sewer line under pressure (regulated), and 10 feet from a property line. To be honest, these isolation distance do not consider impacts from other natural conditions or activities.  In general, we  would recommend the following:

1. If possible, the private well owner should control all activities within a 50 to  100 foot radius of the wellhead, i.e.., top of the water well. These activities should include: use of pesticides and herbicides, storage of toxic or hazardous chemicals, storage or management of manure and other waste, diversion of surface water and runoff, overuse of the area by grazing animals, location of burrow pits, burn pipes, rubbish storage, or storage of used cars or other items that may contain antifreeze, oils, and greases.
2. Well casing should extend at least 12 inches above grade.
3. Well should be fitted with a sanitary well cap that has some form of venting.
4. The well should be located at least 10 feet from a property line.

Other suggested isolation distances

Delineated wetlands or floodplains (25 feet)- with top of casing 3 feet above flood elevation.
Surface waters (25 feet) Storm water Systems (25 feet)
BioInfiltration Stormwater Systems (50 feet +)
Spray Irrigation/ Septage Disposal (100 feet+)
Sinkholes and Closed Depressions (100 feet +)
Farm silos / manure storage (200 feet) Septic Systems (100 feet)
Septic Tanks/Holding Tanks (50 feet)
Chemical Storage/Preparation Area (300 feet)

Well Construction

1. Prefer the use of steel casing that extends at least 15 feet to 20 feet into firm bedrock or 60 feet below ground, whichever is greater.
2. Casing should be of  adequate wall thickness to deal with corrosion and stress – 19lb casing.
3. The base of the casing should contain a driveshoe on the bottom of the casing and casing centralized in the borehole.
4. Wells drilled by a licensed well driller using only potable water as the drilling fluid.
5. Casing should be double circumferential welded or threaded casing
6. Well caps should be sanitary well caps that are properly vented.
7. Annular space should have a grout layer that is at least 1.5 inches thick.
8. Pitless adapters should be used over well pits.

Well Testing (Yield and Quality)

After the well is drilled, the well should be developed using surging, air-lift, or pumping the well.  This is done to clean out the well cuttings and improve yield.  In some cases, this needs to be done to improve the efficiency of the borehole. If the well yield is low, some well drillers will hydrofrac the well. If you are going to hydrofrac a water well, we recommend zone hydraulic fracturing to isolate the deeper potential water-bearing zones.   After the well development has been completed, a shock wellbore disinfection should be conducted.  The well should be allowed to fully recover and a minimum 2-hour yield test is recommend.  After the yield testing, the well should be shock disinfected.  For information on shock disinfection – we recommend visiting Water-Research Center.   The well yield data should include the static water level (water level before pumping), maximum dynamic water level (maximum depth to water during pumping), pumping rate, and length of the pumping test.  This data should be included on the well log and the specific capacity of the well should be reported.  The specific capacity is the rate of yield or gallons per minute per foot of drawdown.  The drawdown is the difference between the static and dynamic water level measurement. 

Before the end of the yield testing, it is recommended that a general water quality analysis of the well be conducted.  This testing should include bacterial quality, general water quality, and specific parameters that are known problems for your region.  Do not rely on a free water analysis or a basic water quality screening down by the well driller.  This should be either information or certified testing conducted by a laboratory.  For information on this type of testing, please contact the Keystone Clean Water Team or the Water-Research Center.   The initial water quality testing data should be reviewed and evaluated.  The first well or city water quality test should be a comprehensive water quality check.  If you are want informational water testing, we would recommend either the Well Water Check or the City Water Check Option. This evaluation should include the need for any further action to improve the well security, continue with well development, or add equipment to improve well water quality.  In some cases, water treatment systems are installed as an additional barrier or layer of protection.  In many cases, the only type of additional treatment that is needed is a whole-house particle filter and a sanitary well cap.  For information on Do-it-Yourself Water Treatment Systems.

Well and System Maintenance

At a minimum, the well water system should go through an annual inspection.  This inspection could be associated with the annual water quality test or inspection of any water treatment systems.  During this evaluation, the aesthetic quality of the water should be evaluated and some basic field water quality screening should be conducted.   For the field water screening, it is possible this can be done using a number of low-cost meters or an informational water quality screening test.

Annual Water Testing

Depending on the results of the initial evaluation, the results should be evaluated to determine what are the water quality parameters that should be monitored to help track the general water quality of the well.  If a water treatment system was installed, the annual water quality evaluation should include the performance of the water treatment system.  If you need help with determining what you need, WE can Help – Here is a partial listing of the informational water screening tests !  The Keystone Clean Water Team can provide guidance on the selection of water quality parameters, review water quality data, and make recommendations on the water quality parameters.  At a minimum, the Keystone Clean Water Team offers a Health Screen Test (only $ 50 if you have the sample bottles (video)) and testing includes bacteria, pH, conductivity, iron, manganese (if suspected), nitrate, total dissolved solids, total hardness, and alkalinity (Health Screen Test Order Form).    If you are interested, you may want to obtain a copy of our Educational Booklet and Brochure.

To Review a Number of our Case Studies – Common Private Well Problems and Fixes.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We have offered “Free” Assistance to this effort, but if you are a private well owner that needs assistance we are happy to help.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.  Follow us on Twitter 

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

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New Courses Hydraulic Fracturing, Natural Gas Development, Shale Gas and Environmental Concerns

New Courses related to natural gas development, fracturing, oil production and much more.

Crude Oil Origins – In this course we will discuss the formation of oil and review the theories of its origin. You will get comprehensive information about oil reservoirs including their structure, oil accumulation, as well as distribution, migration and transformation of reservoir fluids. We will cover classification and evaluation of reservoirs and estimation of fuel reserves. We will also review fuel reserves focusing on quality, quantity, patterns, and benefits. Drilling Techniques.

Shale Gas Development – The course provides an overview of modern shale gas development, as well as a summary of federal, state, and local regulations applicable to the natural gas production industry, and describes environmental considerations related to shale gas development. It describes the importance of shale gas in meeting the future energy needs of the United States including its role in alternative energy strategies and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The course is intended to serve as a technical summary document, including geologic information on the shale gas basins in the U.S. and the methods of shale gas development. By providing an overview of the regulatory framework and the environmental considerations associated with shale gas development, it will also help facilitate the minimization and mitigation of adverse environmental impacts. By so doing, the course can serve as an instrument to facilitate informed public discussions.

Environmental Concerns Hydraulic fracturing is done with surprising precision and with an eye on the environment, yet it is interesting how the public reacts to the practice in relation to other techniques used throughout the world. Valid points are made on both fronts. The major concern against fracking resides in the overall health and well-being of people close to a well site, as well as the land, water, and air that might be adversely affected. With proper examination and logic, this course was developed to provide insight and reason in a practice fueled by profit for some and by civil concern for others. We will explore the history, public and media perception, and environmental and economic impacts.

Comprehensive Course on Hydraulic Fracturing. Summary Course on Hydraulic Fracturing.

Go to http://webdesignpros.redvector.com

The online education courses are provided to help educate the community and professionals.  Courses are fee based, but a portion of the fee ultimately aids in groundwater education and outreach.    The portal also offers online training in renewables, biomass,  and other topics.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving the Keystone Clean Water Team (CCGG Program), enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !   Get educated on Drinking Water Quality in Pennsylvania.

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Keystone Clean Water Team /Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  The IRS Officially Approved Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

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Hydraulic Fracturing Defined Fracking Words Matter Debate on Energy, Environmental, Humans

The word fracking – First, I personally and professionally dislike the word for a number of reasons. First it is jargon and second it is industry slang.  The word lends itself to redefinition and misuse.

Definitions – We are defining slang terms?

1) frack·ing, noun \ˈfra-kiŋ\ the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources (such as oil or natural gas)  (Source: http://grist.org/news/the-dictionary-finally-admits-fracking-is-here-to-stay/)

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My comments – not a bad definition – but the process is called hydraulic fracturing – they miss the issue of the use of chemicals to change the characteristics of water to reduce friction loss and prevent bacterial growth.  Also – there  is no Freeing up of a resource – the process creates an artificial pathway that causes the fuel to escape through the pipe or borehole rather than taking millions of years to migrate up through the rock strata.  Also – does not indicate that the process is regulate under the EPA UIC Program under special cases.

2) Fracking is the process by which the oil and gas industry undermines the public right to safe drinking water, clean air and healthy communities by using toxic chemicals and large volumes of water to extract unsustainable fossil fuels from the earth for profit.(Source: Food & Water Watch – http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/fracking-shows-its-viral-nature)

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This is a great example of the lack of fact, but more about environmental spin doctors.  Now – this is not only an approach used by certain organizations.  Definition is more about a philsophical point than an actual definition that explains the process, but presents the potential things could happen.  The only part that is correct is “toxic chemicals are used”, “large volumes of water are used (but more is used to produce other sources of electricity), “extract fossil fuels”, “fossil fuels are not infinitely sustainable (but neither is any building or structure we build or even our cities), it does happen on earth, and it is done for a profit.  (Profit is not bad – non-profit organizations make a profit – they do not call it profit and this is a Capitalist society).   This definition tells you more about the Organization than the process.

3) Fracking – A slang term for hydraulic fracturing. Fracking refers to the procedure of creating fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting fluid into cracks to force them further open. The larger fissures allow more oil and gas to flow out of the formation and into the wellbore, from where it can be extracted. (Source: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fracking.asp)
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Misses the mark related to the nature of the chemicals that are used and the use of a propent to hold the fractures open so the gas and oil can migrate out of the formation into the borehole or pipeline, i.e., the artificial low pressure point, and not up through thousands of feet of rock.  I do like they indicate it is a slang term and the proper term is hydraulic fracturing.  It is a procedure – it is part of a process – NOT the whole process.

4) Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer. The process can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels. (Source; http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14432401)

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It is a process Yes – no mention of the slang nature of the work and the correct term – hydraulic fracturing.  It is NOT a Drilling Process – this is JUST Wrong.  Yes – Water, sand and chemicals are injected.  Chemicals are toxic    The sentence starting – “the process …..”  Is Just Wrong !

5) Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth. Fracking makes it possible to produce natural gas extraction in shale plays that were once unreachable with conventional technologies. Recent advancements in drilling technology have led to new man-made hydraulic fractures in shale plays that were once not available for exploration. In fact, three dimensional imaging helps scientists determine the precise locations for drilling. (Source: http://www.what-is-fracking.com/)

*****
No mention it is a slang term- statement is true, but does it create a definition?  I do like the mention of the word recent.  Because it is the recent improvements in the process that makes this feasible.

6) Hydraulic Fracturing – a method of mining in which cracks are created in a type of rock called shale in order to obtain gas, oil, or other substances that are inside it (Source: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/fracking)

*****
Used the correct work – definition is clearly wrong.  The definition makes it sound like the old water mining techniques that were used in the 1800s to mine for gold by eroding mountains with high pressure water.

7)  fracking, fracking also spelled fracing or fraccing, also called hydrofracking, in full hydraulic fracturing,  in natural gas and petroleum production, the injection of a fluid at high pressure into an underground rock formation in order to open fissures and allow trapped gas or crude oil to flow through a pipe to a wellhead at the surface. Employed in combination with improved techniques for drilling horizontally through selected rock layers, hydraulic fracturing has opened up vast natural gas deposits in the United States. At the same time, the rapid rise of the practice, frequently in regions with no history of intensive oil and gas drilling, has raised concerns over its economic and environmental consequences.

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Not a bad definition – lacks clarity on the nature of the fluid, but then goes on to add the “positive spin” of the Industry.  I do like the closing sentence – “The Rapid Rise” of the practice in areas with “no historic knowledge of the process” has created concerns that are economic and environmental.

If you are going to allow a definition to present a point – then – it would be appropriate to add to this “definition” at the end. These same individuals or communities did not care or were not concerned when these activities that produced fossil fuels for their consumption occurred in other communities or countries and these same communities were happy to develop in a manner that made them dependent on other communities to sustain themselves, i.e., NIMBY.

8. hydraulic fracturing – Also referred to as hydrofracking, hydrofracturing, and fracking, is a well development process that involves injecting water under high pressure into a bedrock formation via the well. This is intended to increase the size and extent of existing bedrock fractures.  (Thanks USGS- http://energy.usgs.gov/GeneralInfo/HelpfulResources/EnergyGlossary.aspx#h)

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Not a great definition and the second sentence is misleading.

I do not like the term.  This term was the slang word used in the Batttlestar Galatica series as the “F” word – “Frac”.  This series was about an epic battle between man and machine.  NOW – it possible to view this change in energy production as a battle between big oil and humans- this is not the battle.  The battle is with us – We are the users, consumers, and wasters of this valuable resource that has been developed on this Earth over millions of years.  It is not renewable, but a high energy source that has powered the improvement of our health, safety, and welfare.  As our technology grows – we will develop new and more “renewable energy sources”, but we have to do our part to conserve energy and use it wisely.

My definition

1. Use the word – hydraulic fracturing and is one phase of an overall process.  The phases include drilling, installing protective casing, cementing, hydraulic fracturing, developing, and production.

2. Process that uses a slick water solution – This chemical solution is dangerous to handle and not suitable for consumption or direct contact without proper training and personal protective equipment.  The chemical solution is made up of 99.5 % water  that has been modified through the use of chemicals and other agents that prevent bacterial growth (i.e., biocide), dissolve carbonate scales (acids- HCL and citric acid), friction reduces (change the density of water – can be toxic- mineral oil, polyacrylamide (used in agriculture and soil stabilization potential health issue), corrosion inhibitors (n,n-dimethylformamide,  glycols (toxic)), surfactants (soaps/isopropanal),  gelling agents (gums/cellulose), crosslinkers (borate salts), breakers (ammonia persulfate), salts (KCL)  and propant (sand /ceramics)- Nice Image and Other Pdf.

An aside: The issue is not the chemicals used – but the potential for exposure – the primary exposure potential would be related to chemicals and releases in the environment during transport or surface storage and use.  The main defense would be controlling the movement of the chemicals into and through the community and the use of multiple containment systems for surface storage.  When the target formation is 3000 + feet below grade, the vertical migration of the fluid up to freshwater zones has an extremely low probability of occurrence.  Is it zero – NO, but the other pathways are more likely.

3. The fluid is injected under high pressure to overcome the weight of the material over the target formation.  Since the target formation is a shale, the shale has natural bedding plane fractures (looks like a book from the side), near vertical stress fractures, and curvilinear fractures associated with internal gas stress.  These fractures are not interconnected.  The hydraulic process aids in the parting of existing fractures, removing carbonate scales or coatings along bedding planes/fractures, and parting the formation enough to push sand or other proppant into this location to hold the fractures apart.  This stabilized pathway permits the gas and/or oil to escape at the lowest point of pressure, i.e., the casing and borehole that were constructed during the drilling phase.

This is a work in progress.  We would suggest viewing the following websites:

Private Well Owners Guide – http://www.private-well-owner.org
Links to presentations on water quality issues, movies/videos on well drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and gas production.   Movies and information about problems- Methane gas migration, loose of circulation, chemical changes, spills, and the need for changes in oil and gas law.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving the Keystone Clean Water Team (CCGG Program), enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !   Get educated on Drinking Water Quality in Pennsylvania.

For more information, please go to KCWT’s About Page, Brochure,  or contact us.

Keystone Clean Water Team /Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  The IRS Officially Approved Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

 

 

 

 

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Well Water Basics for the Homeowner in Carbon County Pennsylvania

Well Water Basics for the Homeowner Carbon County Pennsylvania
Wednesday, July 16, 6:00 pm

Environmental Consultant and hydrogeologist Brian Oram presents this free program for homeowners with private well and/or septic systems at part of the Community Outreach Efforts of the Keystone Clean Water Team. Brian explains smart well maintenance, and takes the mystery out of your water test results.

The program is free of charge. However, a low-cost well water testing program will be outlined for those interested. A booklet on groundwater and water testing will also be available for a $5 donation.

Registration is required as space is limited. Call CCEEC  to sign up at (570) 645-8597 or visit our Program Page.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Waiting on Official Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

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Harveys Lake Private Well Owner Groundwater Monitoring Event

Water Well Tests and Q&A Session Offered

A comprehensive package of drinking water tests will be offered once again this summer at a deeply discounted price to Harveys Lake residents by the Harveys Lake EAC, Mr. Brian Oram, and the Keystone Clean Water Team.

You don’t have to live next to a superfund site to have problems.  Besides concerns related to agriculture, mining, land development, spills, and natural gas development, nature put many dangerous substances into the ground and we can add to it by what our neighbors and we do in our own backyards.  A few facts about PA Groundwater and Private Wells:

1. About 30 to 50% of private wells have an elevated level of total coliform.
2. About 15 to 20% of private wells have e. coli.
3. About 6 to 8 % have elevated levels of arsenic.
4. About 20 to 30% have elevated levels of iron.
5. About 10 to 20 % have elevated levels of managanese.
6. About 5 % have elevated levels of chloride, barium, strontium, total dissolved solids, radiological issues, and/or methane (above 7 mg/L).

Source: Citizens Groundwater and Surfacewater Database (Oram, 2012)

The tests will be conducted on Saturday morning, July 12 by Brian Oram, a professional geologist and water well expert who has run the testing programs here at Harveys Lake for many years.  The cost of this year’s water well test package will remain at $95 (compared to a retail value of more than $225).  Residents’ water will be tested for Alkalinity (Total as CaCO3), Chloride, Fluoride, Hardness, Nitrate as N, Orthophosphate, pH (Standard Units), Sulfate, Total Dissolved Solids, Turbidity (Turbidity Units), Total Coliform with e. coli check, Aluminum, Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Nickel, Potassium, Selenium, Silica, Silver, Sodium and Zinc  (We are trying to add Uranium and Strontium to this testing package)

 

Note: Because of the power outage and storms- Pick up day move to July 19 – 9:00 am to 10:30 am – Only a few kits remain! 

Interested residents should register with Denise, at 570- 639-1042.  Participants can pick up water sampling kits at the Harveys Lake Borough Building beginning June 30.  Water samples must be dropped off between 10am and noon on July 12 at the Borough Building’s meeting room, where scientists will perform certain tests immediately.  Confidential final test results will be mailed to participants directly from the Water Research Center  and the Keystone Clean Water within two weeks of the testing date.  Payment in full for the testing is due on July 12.

Important Note: This program’s test results do not meet the requirements of a legal baseline water well test.  However, these tests remain a valuable and cost-effective opportunity for homeowners to monitor the safety of their drinking water.  Residents can learn more about legal baseline testing and find competitive pricing at http://harveyslakepa.us/eac/well_testing.htm.  If you need help with baseline testing, please contact our staff for more information or visit our laboratory listing page.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Waiting on Official Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

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Shalefield Stories: Frontlines of Fracking Tell their Story to the Country

Shalefield Stories: Residents on the Frontlines of Fracking Tell their story to the country

Philadelphia, PA — A newly released booklet, compiled by the citizen’s group Friends of the Harmed, is being released nationwide to make the case why fracking should not be expanded into other states.  The booklet, called Shalefield Stories, which PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center is helping to present, recounts stories of families living with illness, water contamination and damage to their livelihood—even as the current administration advocates to carry-on, full steam ahead, with fracking.

“Behind the alarming numbers that outline fracking’s environmental impacts, there are real people whose lives have been gravely impacted by these polluting practices,” said Kristen Cevoli, Fracking Program Director for PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. “These are their stories, and it is our responsibility to heed their words of warning on fracking.”

People recalling their experiences with fracking damage in Shalefield Stories include:

  • Judy Armstrong Stiles of Bradford County, Pa., who spoke of the barium and arsenic that was found in her drinking water, and then in her blood, after Chesapeake began drilling on her land;
  • June Chappel of Washington County, Pa., who lived with a 15 million gallon fracking waste pit just 200 feet from her house; and
  • Terry Greenwood of Washington County PA, who lost 11 head of cattle after fracking fluid contaminated a pond and field on his farm.

Shalefield Stories was compiled by individual residents in Pennsylvania and is being released in a number of events across the country to highlight the tragedies that have impacted people in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia from growing amounts of shale gas drilling.

“The natural gas industry has stolen our land, polluted our streams and air, made our family and animals ill, and destroyed our peaceful way of life,” said David and Linda Headley, residents of Fayette County, PA in the report. “We want safer extraction, more concern for the environment, and accountability for the industry.”

One of the common themes running through Shalefield Stories is how people have become sick living on the frontlines of fracking.  In Bradford County, PA, shortly after drilling began in 2010, the Stiles family experienced a series of unexplained health problems, from extreme rashes that caused their skin to peel, stomach aches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and seizures.    An independent water test revealed dangerous levels of lead, methane, barium, arsenic, and other toxic chemicals in family’s tap water. Blood tests revealed barium and arsenic. Further testing revealed radon in the air, and radium and uranium in the water.

The toxic substances used in fracking fluid and wastewater have been linked to a variety of negative and serious health effects, such as cancer, endocrine disruption, and neurological and immune system problems.

“The only transparent part of this industry is the toxic contamination that it’s doing to our environment and to our democracy” stated Briget Shields of Friends of the Harmed, “This one of the reasons we put Shalefield Stories together – to expose what these drilling companies are doing to our families and communities.”

PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center presented Shalefield Stories today, as further mounting evidence of the dangerous and dirty practice of fracking in the state of Pennsylvania.

“For anyone across the nation who doubts the damage of dirty drilling, all they have to do is look to the nightmare unfolding in Pennsylvania. We have known this truth for some time. But now we are hearing it from the source, from the very people living on the frontlines of fracking,” concluded Cevoli. “We urge our decision-makers in Harrisburg to heed the warnings of their own constituents who have had to live with the consequences of dirty drilling, and take swift action to close the door on this dangerous practice.”

On the federal level, last summer the Obama administration received more than a million comments urging for much stronger protections from fracking for national forests and national parks. In addition, Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA) has introduced CLEANER (H.R. 2825) — a bill to close the loophole exempting oil and gas waste from the nation’s hazardous waste law.

Reference/Comment- Characteristics of Wastes  (I do agree that the states should be regulating under the Solid Waste Regulations- PA does due this already)!

“What experiences like these show is that states are not protecting people from this dirty drilling,” said Cevoli, of PennEnvironment. “It’s time for Washington to step in; ultimately they need to ban fracking in order to protect our environment and public health. They can start by barring fracking in and around our national parks and national forests, and closing the loopholes that exempts fracking from core provisions of our nation’s bedrock environmental and public health laws.”

For more information- Because of the size of the document (18 mb) and the unclear copyright provisions (18 mb) is appears the document may be available fro free from Penn Environmental.

Personal Comments

1. I think it is a document that must be reviewed, please obtain a copy, review, and fact check.
2. I wish the authors provided more historic detail where predrilling testing was actually present and available.  Many of the problems or unknowns created by the lack of proper baseline testing.  A little more fact checking would have been nice.
3. I wish the authors went a little deeper that just listing cases, but did the follow through and remove claims that were later to be determined not to be related to natural gas development.  This makes the larger document suspect and takes away from the individuals that had an impact from spill or disturbance during the drilling problem.
4.Again -the document does that same as all the other posts – takes about the stuff that was found in the water, but really does not go into the details on pre-drilling levels, post-drilling levels, and what the levels really mean.  Please see the Well by Well Analysis for Dimock,PA.
5. We have been working on groundwater and private well issues for a long time, it is not just about the documented presence, but the concentration and other information is critical.
6. PA residents can submit their data to the Citizens Database (It is Free!)
7. Impacts to private well and groundwater is NOT an issue that should be used as part of environmental spin.  There are real problems that require real solutions.  Many citizens need to understand what happened, how to fix, and how to protect their interest.

Please Note Our Free Well and Spring Testing Program – Program is open to all private well owners in the United States.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

Bookmark and Share

Catholic Social Teaching and Energy Policy: Fracking, Tar Sands, Climate Justice

The McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility was established to be a visible, dynamic expression of the commitment of King’s College to offer students intellectual, moral, and spiritual preparation for satisfying and purposeful lives. That commitment has its origins in the understanding of education distinctive to the tradition of the Congregation of Holy Cross. In the words of the College’s founding president, King’s teaches students “not only how to make a living, but how to live” (Father James Connerton, C.S.C., 1946). Education is accordingly a work of both instructing minds and cultivating hearts.
2013 Feast of Saint Francis Lecture
Catholic Social Teaching and Energy Policy,” Dave Andrews, C.S.C.David Andrews, C.S.C., Senior Representative, Food and Water Watch, and former Executive Director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference
Thursday, October 3, 7:00 pm, Burke Auditorium, McGowan School of Business
Most recent articles by the speaker:
In global fight against fracking, faith community should lead
“Given those dangers, there is good cause for caution and responsible oversight before further fracking proceeds (currently, more than 30 states permit fracking). The Catholic Rural Life Conference has pushed for an infusion of ethical analysis into the fracking debate, like what has occurred in other issues, from agriculture and labor, to energy, water and other natural resources.”
Another article
Just providing notice – it is important to attend events of this nature.
Holy Cross Br. David Andrews is a senior representative at Food and Water Watch, a consumer group based in Washington. He is former director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. The Rural Life Council -http://www.ncrlc.com/
Article from their website – a little more balanced than Dave Andrews- – http://catholicrurallife.org/news/understanding-fracking-catholic-news-service-series/
Important Note who is the
Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross Valatie, New York
The Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross owned 450 acres of land in Valatie, New York, when Brother David Andrews arrived in 1976 to create a Retreat and Conference Center. Brother David developed a local board of directors including people from the Diocese of Albany. Contacts within the New York State Assembly Committee on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy, especially Mabel Gil, encouraged the Brothers to develop programs on “alternative agriculture”. http://www.crystalspring.org/html/religlandsstoriessvalat.html
Overall-
1. Hope that this talk is more than just suspected impacts and what ifs about natural gas development.
2. I do not remember ever having an ethical debate about nuclear power, hydroelectric dams, use of fossil fuels, biofuels (ethanol), getting energy from countries that are unstable and have worse social justice than use, counties with zero tolerance to womens’ rights/ religious freedoms/ etc  or even renewable energy – did i miss something?
3. Renewable energy is not without is dangers and environmental impacts.
4. We must admit we are the problem not the fuel source.
5. We waste over 50% of the energy we produce.
6. Social Teaching could be a great approach to make the change we need to make as a society – but one sided augments that are NOT fact based will no help at all. We need to move forward as a Community.
6. If Business will not invest in biomass, renewable, energy efficiency etc – I would then suggest the Church become the investor.  Invest in the people to make a positive change in the community.
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