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(Clearfield Co. Pa.) Well Ruptures, Spewing N.G. and Chemicals for 16 Hours Causing an One Mile Evacuation

June 5, 2010

As the strong storms hit the area, the fire whistle went off about three times in an twelve hour period Friday, and Saturday. These were storm related, but not for any great emergency. Such as a Marcellus well having a problems, as they did in Clearfield County in northern Pa.

Yesterday as I watched the local news keeping an eye on the storm activity, one of the stories that was reported was, a well in Clearfield County ruptured sending natural gas and Fracking chemicals into the air and on the ground for sixteen hours. This is being called, the worst accident in the history of Hydraulic Fracturing. There was a one mile evacuation around the accident site. The well was out in the National Forest away from any populated area and is said that it was lucky to be out there. I would agree that they were lucky as far there was no immediate human fatalities. As the chemicals seep in the ground what effect it has on the ground water and the animals of the forest. As we have seen in the Gulf with the B.P. tragedy and other spills the damage will show up for decades.

The Pittsburgh Channel

Natural gas and drilling fluids spewed from an out-of-control well in Clearfield County on Friday afternoon.

Emergency officials said a mile-wide area was evacuated after an operation drilling into the Marcellus Shale ruptured.

The FAA issued a flight restriction in the immediate area.

The DEP says there will be an aggressive study done on what happen and how it can be prevented in the future. Here again this is a example of the government coming in too late. Although this could have been held to a lesser problem if congress would have not dropped the regulations and removed the Chemicals used in Fracking off their list of dangerous chemicals in the 2005 Safe Water Act.

Elizabeth Ivers, a spokeswoman for driller EOG Resources, said the well was brought under control just about 16 hours after it started spewing gas.

EOG Resources said the rupture happened because of unexpectedly high gas pressure after they fractured the shale about a mile below ground.
Spadoni said no one was injured and there are no homes within a mile of the well. The extent of damage to the environment was still being assessed Friday night, but no waterways were believed to have been contaminated.

“Right now, we’re focused on limiting any further environmental damage, but once that work is complete, we plan to aggressively look at this situation and see where things went wrong and what enforcement action is necessary.”

The danger all communities face if they chose to allow Hydraulic Fracturing is, will their Fire and Safety Departments be prepared for this type of accident, and if not how long will it take a Hazmat, and containment crews to get to the scene.

One thing that bothers me is, in the Avella area there are many wells in close proximity of one another. So, what can happen if there is another accident like the one in Clearfield happens in this area? Is the Avella, West Middle Town, Burgettstown, and Wellsburg fire departments prepared and equipped for a catastrophe? Do the drilling companies have the resources needed to contain until outside help gets to the site?

These are things that need to be looked at if your township, town, city, or neighbors are thing about giving access to a hydraulic fracturing company. Also, what effect is it going to have on water, crops, and livestock.


One Comment leave one →
  1. June 7, 2010 3:00 am

    being from avella/penowa, i feel the need to post on this one. i know live in PENSACOLA FL. stepping out side it smells like a diesel fule tank farm. and they FINNALY GOT some kinda cover on that oil well in the gulf. its bad. iam pissed that these big companies cant take precautions to insure stuff like this dont happen. i include the coal mines also since most now are “scab” operations.
    we have come full circle since the 1900’s, when my grandfather almost lost his life to help create the UNITED MINE WORKERS back to the place where COOPERATIONS & BIG BUSINESS are all powerful. ive seen the worst conditions without unions, and ive seen the best with unions, untill they, themselves became BIG BUSINESS and screwed themselves to be dipised by those they was suppoed to help and protect.


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