The mission of Don’t Frack Michigan is to work for a ban on Horizontal Fracking in Michigan. DFM will work through education, public meetings and actions, to achieve a ban. We will work with any group or individual toward that aim, regardless of their views on other issues.
High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Update for Michigan as of May 12, 2013
Hydraulic fracturing well pad construction has some
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 11:42 AM EST
On a map found on the Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality (DEQ) website showing “High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing: Applications
and Permits since 2008,” there is a red dot indicating an ‘issued active permit’
in southwest Crawford County.
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to
as ‘fracking,’ has gained a lot of attention and criticism in recent years.
Welcome to Saudi Albany?
Regulations are determined, in large part, by politics. And the politics of fracking are changing and are very likely to change drastically in coming years. As examples from the last century suggest, the sudden discovery of oil and gas can transform an entire economy and regulatory system to serve the industry’s interests. Economists call this the resource curse — the perverse process in which a valuable discovery like oil, gas, diamonds or gold ends up enriching a few at the cost of impoverishing most of the population. More
How much water does it take to frack a well? Watch this!
Michigan’s Tahquamenon Falls is the backdrop for this fracking fact.
The Gas and oil industry would have you believe this is an inconsequential amount of water
Fracking activity at the Excelsior well site in Oliver Township, Kalkaska County.
This is where the 5-8 million gallons of water is being turned into frack fluid, and injected into the well.
The fluid that returns to the surface is disposed of in ways that are not closely regulated.
Flow Back Applied to Roads in Headwaters of North Branch Manistee River State Forest
In spite of claims that Michigan has the best oil and gas rules in the nation, the recent application of High Volume Slickwater Fracking flowback to roads in the headwaters of the North Branch of the Manistee River in the State Forest in Northern MI has drawn renewed criticism of MI Department of Environmental Quality’s Oil and Gas regulation. According to correspondence from the Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals (OOGM) of the DEQ, between May 15 and June 13, 994 bbls (1 bbl is equivalent of 42 gallons or 40,068 gallons or approximately 2 rail road tanker cars) of flowback and brine were applied as a dust-control agent in the area of the headwaters of the Little Manistee River.
In a risk assessment for biological and chemical impacts of gas extraction, Dr.
Ronald E Bishop, Ph.D. CHO wrote: “Some chemicals in ubiquitous use for shale gas exploration and production, or consistently present in flowback fluids, constitute human health and environmental hazards when present at extremely low concentrations. Potential exposure effects for humans will include poisoning of susceptible tissues,
endocrine disruption syndromes, and elevated risks for certain cancers.
In a letter dated June 13th to Team Services LLC Kalkaska, Ray Vugrinovitch, Senior Geologist of the OOGM called for revocation of a permit for Application of Oil Field Brines for Ice and Dust Control for brine from State Excelsior 1-25 HD 1 in Oliver Township, Kalkaska Co., “…It has come to my attention that the well is still producing so-called flow back water from hydraulic fracturing. Because of the unknown composition of the flow back water; the uncertainty regarding impacts to soil, groundwater and surface water, of the compounds used during hydraulic fracturing, use of brine from the State Excelsior 1-25 HD-1 must be discontinued immediately…. brine from the Excelsior well that has been moved to a central holding site prior to use (on roads) must be
disposed of by injection into a disposal well”.
Joanne Cromley, Co-chair of Don’t Frack Michigan called the incident “horrific”. “Did people or animals come in contact with this? What has the OOGM done to clean
this up? How can we be assured this will never happen again?”
New unconventional high-volume slickwater fracking uses up to 7 million gallons of freshwater combined with 80 to 330 tons of chemicals and proppants under enormous
pressures to blast open tiny fractures in tight shales to release methane gas. The formula for the industrial frack fluid is closely guarded industry secret, although it is known that chemicals include toxins and carcinogens.
The formation targeted in Kalkaka Co. is the Collingwood, a deep dense shale holding tiny pockets of gas. These gas fields could not be developed profitably until the oil and gas industry were given exemptions in 2005 (commonly referred to as the Halliburton Loophole) from Federal Laws including the Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, Superfund, Resource Conservation and Recovery, Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Acts. Exemptions have also been granted from highway safety rules under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
In Michigan, oil and gas waste products (drilling fluids, produced waters, and other wastes that are associated with the exploration, development, or production of crude oil and natural gas) are exempted from Hazardous Waste disposal regulation pursuant to
R 299.9204(1), so flow back from the fracking process that returns to the
surface (between 40 and 80% of the fracking flow back or between 1.5 million
and 5.6 million gallons) is not routinely analyzed for chemical content.
Fracking in the Collingwood/Utica shales, produces unprecedented volumes of toxic fluid wastes. If gas plays meet expectations, thousands of wells will be drilled with multiple horizontal legs. Michigan’s oil and gas rules define all nonpotable waste water resulting, obtained or produced from the exploration, drilling or production of oil or gas as “brine”. The law does not differentiate between fracking flowback, produced water or natural brines. Michigan Oil and Gas Regulation requires all oil and gas “brine” to be disposed of in Class II injection wells with the exception of “brine” that is used for ice and dust control.
Since a 1983 court decision, Michigan has allowed permitted haulers to purchase “brine” (oil and gas liquid waste) to apply gas and oil brine on roads for dust and ice control if brines meet guidelines for calcium and when the four aromatic hydrocarbons, Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, and Xylene are each less than 1,000 micrograms-per-liter. In spite of new proprietary toxins and chemicals added to frack fluids, waste water is not tested for chemicals other than calcium and the four hydrocarbons.
Thirty seven counties participate in application of gas and oil “brine” on roads. It is not clear what procedures, if any, are in place to prevent future releases of fracking flow back into the environment. According to the OOGM, ALL liquid waste produced from the exploration, drilling or production of oil or gas is “Brine”. And ALL waste products of oil
and gas are exempt from hazardous waste disposal. And the flowback water from the Excelsior well met ALL requirements for application on the roads for dust control
(undetectable amounts of aromatic hydrocarbons and enough calcium). This application of flowback to the roads at the headwaters of the North Manistee in the State Forest DID meet Michigan’s statutes and OOGM Administrative Rules promulgated under Part 615, Supervisor of Wells, Act 451 PA 1994.
In spite of the unknown composition of fracking flowback and its unknown effect on the environment and public, in spite of exemptions from environmental and public safety laws, in spite of the increased burden of massive volumes of toxic wastewater and flowback produced by High Volume Slickwater Fracking, the MI Oil and Gas Regulations Part 615 has not been amended to reflect any changes in the fracturing procedures or methods used by the industry.
Brine may be applied to the surface of roads, parking lots, and other land up to four (4) applications each year south of the southern county lines of Mason, Lake, Osceola, Clare,
Gladwin, and Arenac Counties. Counties north of this line may apply only three (3) applications per year.
Link to GeoWebFace map site State Excelsior 1-25 HD1
MSDS for chemicals in frac fluid
Some environmentalists are alarmed after it was learned that thousands of gallons of flowback wastewater from two high-volume, deep-shale hydraulic fracking wells in Kalkaska County was sprayed on roads throughout the region to control dust.
The concern is that the fracking fluid could contaminate groundwater or harm wildlife.
Drilling pads, wastewater impoundments and pipelines around Avella, Pa in Fall 2012
Gas Drilling Jitters Unsettle Catskills Sales
There is concern that the drilling will not only ruin the natural environment but also depress property values, would-be buyers and real estate agents say.
This presentation is by Cal Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas, and featured in the movie Gasland. Through his personal story , he shows the connection between unconventional, slick water, deep shale horizontal fracking, and the degradation of living conditions that eventually force him to move his family away from Dish to protect their health. This presentation was made at Harbor Springs High School in Harbor Springs, Michigan. Northern Michigan is the next target for intense development of the Utica Collingwood Shale by the oil and gas industry. Don’t Frack Michigan was the sponsor of the presentation. They seek a ban of fracking of this type.
If you have fracking, this is included with it.
This picture is what the box diagram looks like on the ground.
The small town of Dish Texas is on the left and top of the picture.
Fraccidents Map – The country is in the midst of an unprecedented gas drilling boom — brought on by a controversial technology called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Along with this fracking-fueled gas rush have come troubling reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions. We call them “Fraccidents.” This map is a sampling of some of the high profile incidents related to the country’s gas drilling boom. Click here
Chesapeake Energy subject of antitrust probe
AP / August 10, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) — Chesapeake Energy Corp.
says the federal government is investigating whether there were antitrust
violations relating to its purchase of some oil and gas land in Michigan.
The Oklahoma City-based company said in
a regulatory filing on Thursday that it was subpoenaed on June 29 by the U.S.
Department of Justice to hand over paperwork related to those purchases.
Chesapeake said it has also received demands for documents and information from
state government agencies.
It said it intends to cooperate while its board conducts an internal investigation.
Chesapeake has spent about $400 million to buy leases in Michigan.
Its shares fell 39 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $19.92 per share in morning trading Friday. Its shares are down about 12 percent since the start of the year.
Four days before Chesapeake received the federal subpoena, Reuters reported that the company colluded with a Canadian rival to suppress land prices in areas that were considered to be rich in oil and natural gas.
The report said that Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon worked with executives at Encana Corp. to avoid bidding against each other in public land auctions in Michigan. Reuters, which based the report on emails obtained from the two companies, said those discussions appeared to violate federal and state antitrust laws. Chesapeake wouldn’t
comment on the allegations.
The story followed a string of reports about potential corporate governance violations by McClendon. News reports in April revealed that McClendon took out more than $1 billion in loans to cover his personal stake in the company’s wells. Also, while leading Chesapeake, McClendon ran a private hedge fund that traded in contracts for oil and natural gas — commodities that Chesapeake produces.
Chesapeake has since stripped McClendon of his board chairmanship although he remains CEO.
This is the Beaver Creek area in southeast Crawford County Michigan. Each square dot is a well. The larger light color squares are processing equipment. Mostly state land. What your rural neighborhood could look like.
By KRISTINE MORRIS
Contributing Writer - Published: Monday, August 13, 2012
NORTHERN MICHIGAN – “Fracking,” or “hydraulic fracturing,” to extract natural gas from deep shale deposits, is being hailed as a solution to U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and proponents of the controversial method even affirm that it’s cleaner.
But what they don’t discuss, according to a visiting opponent, are the very real dangers the practice poses to the environment and to human health – dangers that he believes all citizens have a right to know. More
Facts on Fracking – How is it Different
At 16:00 into the video Dr. Ingraffea talks about how long high volume, slick water, horizontal deep shale fracking has been around. It’s not 60 years.
Drilling and fracking wells is not an energy policy. It is a way for companies to make profits.
Here is a link to a new DEQ web site called GeoWebFace that you can look up gas wells by location on a map. It takes some checking of boxes, but once you figure it out much information is available.
Jamie Frederick speaking of her experiences with fracking in Ohio. Are you thinking your rural surroundings are safe from fracking?
Kevin Heatley is a senior scientist at Biohabitats, Inc. and tech consultant for Responsible Drilling Alliance in Wiliamspot, Pa.His presentation draws on the experience in Louisiana where environmental impacts by the gas and oil industry have been severe, and the cost of remediation externalized.
CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP(CHK) 10-K Annual report pursuant to section 13 and 15(d)Filed on 03/01/2011. Check out bottom paragraph of page 22, Operating Hazards and Insurance. People who lease their property don’t have to be told this information.
Operating Hazards and Insurance
The natural gas and oil business involves a variety of operating risks, including the risk of fire, explosions, blow-outs, pipe failure, abnormally pressured formations and environmental hazards such as oil spills, natural gas leaks, ruptures or discharges of toxic gases. If any of these should occur, Chesapeake could incur legal defense costs and could suffer substantial losses due to injury or loss of life, severe damage to or destruction of property, natural resources and equipment, pollution or other environmental damage, clean-up responsibilities, regulatory investigation and penalties, and suspension of operations. Our horizontal and deep drilling activities involve greater risk of mechanical problems than vertical and shallow drilling operations.
Chesapeake maintains a $75 million control of well policy that insures against certain sudden and accidental risks associated with drilling, completing and operating our wells. There is no assurance that this insurance will be adequate to cover all losses or exposure to liability. Chesapeake also carries a $400 million comprehensive general liability umbrella policy and a $130 million pollution liability policy. We provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to employees in all states in which we operate. While we believe these policies are customary in the industry, they do not provide complete coverage against all operating risks. In addition, our insurance does not cover penalties or fines that may be assessed by a governmental authority. A loss not fully covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. The insurance coverage that we maintain may not be sufficient to cover every claim made against us in the future.
Un•earthed: Setting the track record straight -
A video exposing a flawed claim often abused in the sales pitch for promoting shale gas development across the world:
“With a history of 60 years, after nearly a million wells drilled, there are no documented cases that hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) has lead to the contamination of groundwater.”
Brought to you by the team behind the upcoming South African feature documentary, Un•earthed, that is investigating natural gas development and the controversial method of extraction known as “fracking” from a global perspective. Should South Africa and other countries drill down?
The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind the Gas Boom
It’s not only toxic – it’s driven by a right-wing billionaire who profits more from flipping land than drilling for gas.By Jeff Goodell March 1, 2012 8:00 AM ET
Aubrey McClendon, America’s second-largest producer of natural gas, has never
been afraid of a fight. He has become a billionaire by directing his company,
Chesapeake Energy, to blast apart gas-soaked rocks a mile underground and pump the fuel to the surface. “We’re the biggest frackers in the world,” he declares
proudly over a $400 bottle of French Bordeaux at a restaurant he co-owns in his
hometown of Oklahoma City. “We frack all the time. What’s the big deal?” Read more
Published on Thursday, April 5, 2012 by Common Dreams
USGS: Recent Earthquakes ‘Almost Certainly Manmade’
A US Geological Survey research team has linked oil and natural gas drilling operations to a series of recent earthquakes from Alabama to the Northern Rockies. Read more
MSU Extension offers an Oil & Gas newsletter that explains there will be changes when fracking comes to your community, but it’s OK as long as you’re financially compensated for poisoned water and killed livestock. Huh? Newsletter here
For example, XTO Energy Corp., a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp., the nation’s leading
natural gas producer, has told its investors for years that:
“Our operations are subject to inherent hazards and risks, such as fire, explosions,
blowouts, formations with abnormal pressures, uncontrollable flows of
underground gas, oil and formation water and environmental hazards such as gas
leaks and oil spills. Any of these events could cause a loss of hydrocarbons,
pollution or other environmental damage, clean- up responsibilities, regulatory
investigations and penalties, suspension of operations, personal injury claims, loss
of life, damage to our properties, or damage to the property of others . . . As
protection against operating hazards, we maintain insurance coverage against
some, but not all, potential losses. We do not believe that insurance coverage for
all environmental damages that could occur is available at a reasonable cost. We
believe that our insurance is adequate and customary for companies of similar size
and operation, but losses could occur for uninsured risks or in amounts exceeding
existing coverage. The occurrence of an event that is not fully covered by insurance
could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.”
Exceprt from The Environmental Working Group comments on New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s revised draft supplemental generic environmental impact statement. Read the complete document.
Drilling Doublespeak : Gas Drillers Disclose Risks to Shareholders – But Not to Landowners.
At what point does preliminary evidence of harm become definitive evidence of harm? When someone says, “We were not aware of the dangers of these chemicals back then,” whom do they mean by we?
—Sandra Steingraber,Living Downstream (Da Capo Press, 2010)
“Without rigorous scientific studies, the gas drilling boom sweeping the world will remain an uncontrolled health experiment on an enormous scale.”
“Without complete studies, given the many apparent adverse impacts on human and animal health, a ban on shale gas drilling is essential for the protection of public health.”
CRAWFORD COUNTY — Eighty percent of the gas spewed from a Beaver Creek Township
well early Christmas Eve morning was hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous byproduct of
natural gas production. More
Gas well leak creates odor across Northern Michigan
A little after midnight on the day of Christmas Eve in Crawford County, at the Beaver Creek #5 Claude Seely 5 HD 1 Gas Injection Well, a valve failure sent a plume of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas across Northern Michigan. The gas traveled from the Breitburn Energy Partners injection well south of Grayling across Michigan and as far as Canada for about 4 hours. Hydrogen Sulfide gas, or sour gas, is deadly. At relatively low concentrations, it is detected by the rotten egg smell of mercaptans occurring within the hydrogen sulfide gas. High levels of Hydrogen Sulfide gas destroy olfactory senses and thus H2S ceases to be detectable when toxicity is high.
When sensors at the Beaver Creek Injection Well Site detected a blown needle valve, the gas plant was shut down automatically, but the sensors should also have shut the injection well boreout, but did not. H2S gase returning from the injection well escaped back up though a ¼ inch hole. Winds carried the gas north. Because H2S is heavier than air, it is deadly when undissipated high concentrations drop in a localized area. This can also make well repairs treacherous. Complaints from citizens as far as Petoskey and Cheboygan and emergency notification to the DEQ sent emergency crews to the site. Christmas Eve winds made repairs less dangerous. Crews worked to replace the valve and contacted area hospitals and fire and police. They also contacted 9 & 10 News.
Special emergency, evacuation and contingency plans in areas where Hydrogen Sulfide gas may be encountered must be in place to notify all residences within 1300 feet and to inform first responders. Site specific operating and emergency procedures are part of the Contingency Plan.
- Dana Schindler
Eerily familiar at this point in time……
“because no alarm sounded” and the uncalibrated monitors did not record H2S emissions “over a length of time”, therefore, there had not been a release which would have caused the negative health effects
DEQ’s Rick Henderson was quoted in the 5/13/99 Ludington Daily News as saying that “No laws were violated, only a small amount of H2S was released…it’s a fairly routine thing. It’s really not a big deal.”
Fast forward to Dec 2011……..Sent: Thu Dec 29 17:00:05 2011
Subject: Press Release Rotten Egg Christmas Eve Northern MI Please send me the press release (releases) for the Christmas Eve H2S/Gas Release in Northern MI. From:Wurfel, Brad (DEQ) (WurfelB@michigan.gov) Sent:Thu 12/29/11 10:31 PM To ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, Fitch, Hal (DEQ), Henderson, Rick (DEQ)
BREAKING: Ohio Governor Halts Four More Fracking Wastewater Injection Wells After Yesterday’s Quake
The Kasich administration has put a temporary halt to the disposal of toxic wastewater from hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking—a procedure used to extract oil and gas out of rock formations such as the Marcellus and Utica shale) from oil and natural-gas drilling wells within a 5-mile radius of the D&L Energy site in Youngstown, Ohio……..more
Reuters, Kim Palmer, Ohio earthquake was not a natural event, expert says Tue Jan 3, 2012
Tony Ingraffea Hydrofracking Myth #4 of 4
Other Hydrofracking Myths videos on video page
By ELIZA GRISWOLD Published: November 20, 2011
These are the companies we are supposed to trust with fracking in northern Michigan?
Energy giant hid behind shells in “land grab”
(Reuters) – Late in the summer of 2010, hundreds of farmers in northern Michigan were fuming. All had signed leases with local brokers permitting drillers to tap natural gas and oil beneath their land. All were demanding thousands of dollars in bonuses they had been promised in exchange. But none knew for certain whom to go after.
DEQ website where gas & oil wells can be viewed Drilling Unit Maps by County
DEQ website where gas & oil permits can be viewed - Online Oil and Gas Information System
Material Safety Data Sheets and other info - Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan.
List of Active Permits and Applications for high volume hydraulic
fracturing in Nothern Michigan, updated 9/17/2012, (These wells will be fracked, and millions of gallons of water will be contaminated and pumped into injection wells). 14 new permits for wells have just been applied for and added to this list.
Map of List of high volume Hydraulic Fracturing
active permits and applications. permits,granted, applied-for, in Northern Michigan as of 9/17/12. One to come near you soon.
Click on Image for Larger Permit Map.
Michigan regulators claim:
“Michigan is leaps and bounds ahead of other states as far as gas and oil regulations, and is much more stringent than other states where
groundwater contamination and other problems have occurred.”
Pennsylvania regulators claim: “Pennsylvania has the strongest enforcement program of any state with gas drilling. Period.”
Both of these statements cannot be true. Don’t Frack Michigan
says neither is true.
Time Magazine Video of unexpected results with leasing of mineral rights.