Fracking Well Meltdown Sends 9,000 Gallons Of ‘Frack Fluid’ Onto Farmland

The spill marks Carrizo Oil & Gas’ second spill in as many months. The EPA has issued no penalties in either instance.
By @TrishaMarczakMP |
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    Fracking fluid is reclaimed at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa. in Bradford County Friday, April 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)

    Fracking fluid is reclaimed at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa. in Bradford County Friday, April 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)

    A fracking site dumped more than 9,000 gallons of chemical-laden fracking fluid Tuesday near a farm site in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming County, marking Carrizo Oil & Gas’ second spill in two months.

    Crews were still cleaning up the site Wednesday, digging trenches to dig up contaminated areas. Large vacuums were hauled in to suck up the fracking water, which consists of a combination of water, silica sand and chemicals

    An inquiry made by Mint Press News to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regarding the well site number could not immediately be fulfilled.

    Well site numbers are needed to access the chemical makeup of a well’s fracking fluid on the industry-run FracFocus.org’s “chemical disclosure registry.” Current provisions do not require outside regulators to monitor the chemical makeup of fracking fluid — all information listed on FracFocus is provided by operating oil and gas companies.

    The Tuesday spill seeped into the basement of a nearby home and onto the site of a miniature horse farm, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The owners of the farm and home were not in town at the time of the spill.

    “The back part I can’t mow, because they got it all dug up,” Fred Kuntz, who works at a farm along Sickler Road where the spill occurred, told local station WNEP. “Behind his lawn, I can’t mow. The field up there, they’ve got it all messed up. What am I supposed to do? Take it day by day.”

    In mid-March, a malfunction at a fracking site in that same county spilled more than 227,000 gallons of frack fluid. The spill led to the evacuations of several homes, with residents alerted in the middle of the night as crews expressed concern about potential explosions. Nearby homes were provided with bottled water by the oil and gas company in the aftermath of the spill. The company said it would test residential water if prompted to do so by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

    An April 8 report indicated that water testing near that site was ongoing. Despite this, the EPA gave the go-ahead for the company to continue fracking at the site. An initial water test administered by Carrizo found “nothing unusual, nothing unexpected in the water,” according to the company’s spokesman Richard Hunter. Independent tests by the DEP are not being conducted.

    Local station WNEP reported that, at one point, more than 800 gallons of fracking fluid were flowing out of the site per minute.

    Pennsylvania has become a hotbed for the fracking industry, as the state sits on top of the Marcellus Shale formation, known for its rich natural gas content.

    The EPA has not issued penalties against Carrizo for the spill and is allowing the company to continue drilling at the site. Carrizo has more than 100 wells in Pennsylvania, and has received 48 violations. It is a publicly-traded NASDAQ company.

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      • eddie

        When i worked for the gas and oil industry they made us use frac water to clean the rigs, and all that poisonous water went all over the ground, not to mention all over us,
        it was so bad it made our skin burn and it was in our nose and mouth and lungs, they was supost to suply clean water but that never hapond.

      • NJacana

        Get rid of EPA, let the neighbors handle it.

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      • http://www.vote4ok.com Michael Fulks

        “crews expressed concern about potential explosions.” How can there be explosions when the industry tells us there’s nothing harmful about fracking chemicals?

      • straight talk

        Where is all the dead stuff???? 99% water doesn’t cause too much of a fuss does it?????

      • school of common sense

        get all of them out NOW while we still have pennsylvania send corbitt packing. people you know whats needed here someone better do it. dare i say yes and take back our goverment were not for sale any more.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000982429641 Jane Davison

          I send Facebook messages to Cuomo, my govenor and tell him that he has to ban Fracking. I am hoping that he will get tired of it and ban it. I am among thousands who don’t want it and I hope that somehow, things will get worn out and the gas companies will give up here in New York state and not put one of those wells here. Great job, we really need more people like you.

      • b_sure

        Unfortunately people refuse to understand that the “Jobs and Money” mantra the industry keeps repeating isn’t worth it in the long run. People in PA are experiencing irreversible contamination on a daily basis. Property values near drilling are dropping and insurance companies are starting to deny insurance to homeowners where drilling is going on. Why, because the risk is too high. Wake up people, we need to ban fracking and encourage sustainable energy.

        • http://www.facebook.com/denizoccupy.guevarra Deniz Occupy Guevarra

          is there anyone who insures against fracking? cause the govt is the only one that will insure residential flood damage. insurance companies have left that market, apparently they dont feel this risk is worth it in light of severe weather getting more frequent and intense

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000982429641 Jane Davison

            It sounds like Corbet should be sent packing and so should some of the others in Pennsylvania. I live in New York State and we don’t need it there well here at all. People do need to get some common sense and told to stop this nonsense about shale drilling. We don’t need it as there are other ways to make money. Good job for sounding off on that one.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000982429641 Jane Davison

          You aren’t b-sure for nothing. Good job on that one. I live in the State of New York which is north of Pennsylvania and we’re making sure that there is no fracking in the state at all. Many of our communities don’t want it and we are putting pressure on our governor to say No to it and ban it once in for all and warn the other people like Joe Martens who runs our DEC to say no as well. Good job. Ban fracking is the way to go and that is one thing we hope to do is ban it

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