Most of what I post on this site has to do with numbers: Pennsylvania’s 9,370 violations in less than four years; which drilling operators have the most violations per well; Marcellus Shale wells are 1.5 to 4 times more likely to have violations than conventional wells; and so on.
But of course, numbers only tell part of the story of the impact of gas drilling. It doesn’t really even begin to explain what a single violation means to people who live near these wells. The best way to get that qualitative information is to read the stories of the people who live there. What follows is a first-hand account from Bonnie Burnett of Bradford, PA.
To Whom It May Concern or Who Cares:
My husband and I own a little farm (125 acres) we planned to retire on in Granville Summit, Bradford County, PA. In March of 2009, when the drilling started in Bradford County, there were 2 spills on a well pad next to our property, that rushed down the hill side into our pond, killing all the fish and aquatic life. A deadly swath was carved from the drilling pad to our pond, killing everything. Big old oak trees to tiny peppermint plants that we planted.
A little history: Before Chesapeake started drilling my husband wrote to DEP and asked them the protect our little pond and our property. We saw how they were installing the drilling pad, cutting down over 5 acres of forest and trying to burn the stumps, to no avail, then burying the unburned stumps. Hauling tons of fill and crushed stone to make the pad…..on and on.
Then there was an fracking spill, all noted and recorded -(Chesapeake called it a
human error) causing about 50,000 gallon of second hand fracking water to flow through the woods, downslope into our pond and over the breast of the pond, down into the wetland and into the little creek that flows into the town of Towanda. Two weeks later there was an acid spill of approximately 600 gallons of hydrocholoric acid, all noted and recorded, that again flowed through the pad and seeped through the woods and into our pond. I’m not sure if they labeled this a human error or an accident!
From that date to today, after every rain event water from their pad flows into our pond. On 12/2/10 after a rain storm, water from their pad was flowing across their property into our pond at approximately 95 gal per min., as per their engineer report. After hundreds of telephone calls, on our part, and meetings with Chesapeake and a lot of promises-guess what-it’s winter and the ground and pond is frozen. To top it all off, our well water has been contaminated also. DEP send us a letter and told us not to ingest our well water. Oh well. Chesapeake is making money and the politicians are lining their pockets and are happy and OUR (your and mine) water is being contaminated!!!! I don’t know how old you are and I really don’t care, my husband and I are in our 60’s, but my little grandbabies are the ones I am really concerned about. If the water is
contaminated there will be no life. No one seems to understand that. Life needs water!!
By the way, my husband has had several meetings with DEP, EPA, CNN, CBS, the BBC, PBC (you can find them all on the internet) Guess what-they all say the same thing- This can’t be happening! I’m one of the first ones to admit, I do NOT want more rules and regulations from the government. However, when a big powerful money laden company comes and starts to destroy our countyside and starts to pollute our water, then it’s time for some regulations. The average AMERICAN, who works and gives everything for our country and wants to be safe, needs to have someone help protect us.
You now know some of the mess we have acquired from a huge money making endeavor, a company that happens to be owned by some foreign country and they are laughing all the way to the bank!!
If you or anyone you know has first hand stories about gas drilling, send it to me and I will share it with our readers. We are interested in hearing your stories.