Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cradle-to-grave fracking

I did not go to the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation seminar in New Bern Saturday, because I thought it was a waste  .
 Seems JW had a hand in Who was picked or not picked to speak at this event?
 When He is treated special like that , I had no intention of wasting fuel or time to go !
But I found this article about the event that stirred my blood pressure reading it.
Fracking wastewater not headed to ENC wells
 No not the title ,well maybe , if not ENC where, came to mind??? What do they have planned ?
It was these statements below by a Roach , I'd like to stomp like a disgusting bug should be.
Also many by MEC head Chairperson/ Commissioner of Lee Co/ Founder of ACEI / Blog writer
 Jim Womack .


William Roach, head of a Pennsylvania fracking consulting company, said the fracture stimulation is not new.
It has been around since 1865. There is ample evidence that, if done right with “cradle-to-grave” responsibility by the extracting company built into the process, it can be a viable option to help the U.S. attain energy independence.

Cradle to grave , or spill to well ?
I say ...no fracking 'Stimulation' is Not new, but Horizontal drilling has not been Profitable for Shale until the last Few years !17 times more than a decade earlier But the price of nat gas is low right now so they intend to "SELL / Export the Nat Gas not make the USA or NC Independent as they say !


Now Mr James K Womack

As a Commissioner you can see here how he show Disrespect for his fellow commissioners.



As a multipurpose MEC / ACEI chair >>>>



Now for "Chairperson Womack"  does he Really think people just believe everything that comes from his mouth? well maybe some do ?
There are a Lot of us that tend to Question it all? (just read my last blog)

One participant at the meeting ,questioned "who was monitoring" any potential conflict of interest of the 13 members of the Mining and Energy Commission, which includes a 30-year veteran of Halliburton and others with current energy company connections ? 

Notice JW does Not give Who was monitoring" ??

“I am very confident we have people of the utmost integrity” as members, and they are bound by the state code of ethics and sworn to disclose any potential conflict of interest, Womack said.

He said the commission is taking two years and looking at the rules for 35 other states as it attempts to write fracking rules for North Carolina that will be the best in the nation for protecting water and air quality and the quality of life for those around the natural gas wells, now and in the future.

I google searched these words... fracking rules “best in the nation"

Government officials have used that quote repeatedly . 
 I mean 1000's of times in their speeches... None Yet has lived up to it!

A retired DR B Holmes , told Womack , He said he was concerned about the effect that fracking wastewater could have on the underground aquifers that would supply drinking water for his grandchildren.

Womack...“We are opposed to doing that,” said Womack, who does not believe deep well injection of wastewater will be needed or cost effective for the energy companies who will be fracking for natural gas ; helium and other shale gas deposits.”

I found this about helium
The more shale gas production there is, the more diluted the helium is,” Clarke said before the release of the U.S. government data. “It just makes it more difficult to access helium.”
An estimated 7.67 trillion cubic feet of U.S. natural gas was extracted using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of shale rock in the U.S. last year. That’s 17 times more than a decade earlier, which forecast production will reach 13.6 trillion cubic feet in 2035, accounting for 49 percent of gas output.
“The fracking mining that has become such a boom in the U.S. and Canada yields virtually no helium gas.”

Who is Really watching out for NC?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

who is ACEI aka American Counties for Energy Independence ?

As I read the great report Diane gave on the latest NC MEC /fracking meeting (last blog) ,
 I got stuck on this part
Holbrook asked if “industry” gets to review the rules, to get their feedback.  Womack says the Stakeholders Committee has industry representatives, and Lee County just joined the American Counties for Energy Independence (ACEI) which has industry representation
Womack also mentioned ACEI again later ...
Womack said he attended a meeting of American Counties for Energy Independence in Houston recently and they are building relationships between local governments (138 counties) and the industry.  The ACEI is ready to “help” NC with rules and best practices, and that is why the Trade Secrets provisions to be revised.

What is ACEI ? where did I hear of that before ?
I googled "Jim Womack American Counties for Energy Independence (ACEI)"

in this snippet it shows Jim Womack as FOUNDING Member of ACEI
Now read what Jim says to the Commissioner's Board ...


* A resolution to join the America's Counties for Energy Independence organization. Proposed by Commissioner Jim Womack, the organization was formed to help counties "efficiently maximize and sustain energy resources," among other things, according to the agenda. The annual fee is $500.
*( check price in next article found)
http://www.sanfordherald.com/news/x1592165479/County-budget-and-fire-district-tax-rates-to-be-discussed-Monday
more on the resolution here ....
http://www.leecountync.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=B0fyAfSCbYY%3D&tabid=85

doing a google search , I found this article describing the ACEI . titled Keep Feds out ....
here is part of the article ,notice the fees in this, compared to Womack's quote above?

Oil and gas producing counties nationwide are banding together through a common interest. They want to keep the federal government from regulating states rich in oil and gas.

They have formed an organization that, its leaders say, was founded to provide a voice in Washington on national energy policy and to push for state autonomy in regulating the industry.

Doug McLinko, Bradford County, Ill., county commissioner, said in addition to his county and the two in New Mexico, some counties in North Carolina, Ohio, Louisiana and North Dakota have already come on board of about $2,500 that goes towards administrative costs and lobbying efforts, among other activities. "First and foremost, we want to keep the federal government out of our states where we have conventional and unconventional oil and gas drilling and production," he said. "We want to lobby on national energy policies, ....
http://www.currentargus.com/ci_22921901/keep-feds-out-eddy-county-may-join-national

Okay what the heck is going on ?
 I google searched ," American Counties for Energy Independence Founders "
here is some of what I found ...
http://www.redstate.com/shale_oil_man/2013/01/01/23/

http://www.corporationwiki.com/Unknown/Unknown/americas-counties-for-energy-independence/107990128.aspx

then This http://www.uscounties.org/cffiles_web/committees/view/viewformdata_all.cfm


James K. WomackCounty Commissioner
Lee County, North Carolina, NC
1615 Boone Trail Road
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: (919) 770-4783 Fax:
Email: commissioner.womack@gmail.com

Activities and positions held in state association:
I am active in the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners- NCACC. I serve on the Environment Steering Committee of our state association. I am the elected Chairman of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission, the rulemaking body for all forms of energy development in our state. I represent all 100 NC counties in this body.
Activities and positions held at NACo:
Serving now as a member of the NACO EELU Committee. Have attended three consecutive conferences to participate in EELU activities. Comments:
I am a founding member and sit on the Board of Directors of the American Counties for Energy Independence (ACEI) organization- a newly developed national organization aimed at promoting oil and gas self-sufficiency across the country. North Carolina is leading the nation in baselining our environment and socio-economic situation so we can measure and impact the effects of Hydraulic Fracturing and Horizontal Drilling in coming years. We are putting in place the most comprehensive and balanced set of rules anywhere in the country. As the Chairman of that rulemaking body, I bring a lot of expertise to the NACO forum on relevant best practices.
Requirements of Appointee 1. If you receive a presidential appointment will you be able to:
      a. Attend all meetings. Yes
      b. Finance all of your expenses for serving as an appointee. Yes 

2. Is the board in your county supportive of this appointment application?   Yes
      Yes, I am the lead voice and acknowledged expert on all energy related matters in my county. My county strongly supports me as state Chairman for Mining & Energy matters. I have established strong ties to the Governor's office and the NC General Assembly for related legislative matters.
3. Is your state association supportive of this appointment application?   Yes
      I am a very active member of NCACC and have the trust and confidence of the staff there. Several of the NCACC staff are participants in my rulemaking body for energy development in NC.

Here is another reference I found at  http://connectchatham.com/2012-06-06-19-56-46/2012-04-05-09-51-58/nc-mining-and-energy-committee-notes-and-information/285-mec-notes-feb-15-2013-local-government-regulation-study-group ... He said the final report must clearly categorize which level of government has the authority to regulate. “Setbacks are useful but may hamper economic growth.” Colorado has more stringent rules than Texas or the EPA. On this subject, Womack mentioned Kellie Hotter, former La Plata Co. Commissioner, who spoke at the [Mar. 2012] National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, D.C. [She is affiliated with his American Counties for Energy Freedom group.]

   "America’s" Counties for Energy Independence is another name I found it called .

Now we have this information .... now to figure out which is TRUE ???
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

May 3 & June 7, 2013 MEC (Fracking) notes

May 3, 2013  and June 7, 2013 Mining & Energy (Fracking) Commission notes
Chair, James Womack (Lee County Commissioner)
 
This is the full Commission meeting with reports from all committees and Study Groups.  Since the committees are writing rules over multiple sessions, I have combined their reports delivered at the May 3 and June 7 Commission meetings.
 
1.  Water and Waste Management Committee; Chair, Dr. Vikram Rao.  Latest NC House version of S76 removes injection wells from the bill.  This committee does not want injection wells in NC coastal plain.  Rao said there is only one suitable area in Brunswick County [around nuclear reactors?], but Lee County is too far to transport.  Rao said not necessary to write a rule concerning injection of waste.  Wants to encourage recycling/reuse of produced and flowback water in fracking process.  End of process? Treat residuals [How?]. 
 
2.  Oil and Gas Administration Committee; Chair, Charles Holbrook.  Kleinfelder, Inc., an NC company involved in Utica and Marcellus shale engineering operations, said “compressor stations” have high decibel noise impact (costly to mitigate), and the gathering complex itself can be 65 acres.  Gathering lines are extensive; 300 miles of pipe in PA and OH.  Note: Marcellus shale gas pricing down from $8 to $3 per unit volume.  PA now requiring background groundwater test prior to drilling. Committee finalized well-construction rules, getting input from both DENR Stakeholders and Environmental Defense Fund; rules forwarded to the Rules Committee. Wellhead standards are next, as are setbacks, aspects of which are being considered by both Compulsory Pooling and Local Government study groups. Womack said the committees should “use” industry expertise.  Vik Rao said the Environmental Defense Fund should be consulted, for balance.  Holbrook said that horizontal drilling just began in 2005...this is an evolving technology.  Womack said DENR staff should migrate to Oil and Gas Admin Committee from other Committees, since Oil and Gas has largest workload.
 
3.  Environmental Standards Committee; chair, George Howard.  The rule for non-use of diesel fuel, Prohibited Chemicals and Constituents was forwarded to the Rules Committee. The Baseline and Subsequent Testing Requirements for testing of all groundwater wells within 5,000-ft of wellhead within 12-months prior to drilling, and two more times subsequent to drilling, has been forwarded to the Rules Committee.  In discussion about the Baseline rules, Howard pointed out that NC would require the most thorough well water testing, at a cost of $72,000 (estimating 42 water wells) within the 5,000-ft. buffer, if the most extensive testing regimen (including USGS recommendations) was completed at baseline.  Womack says there are “no” water contamination incidents from actual well-stimulation (fracking) fluids, but there are accidents on the surface and human error resulting in incidental contamination.  Covington said baseline testing could relieve fear in community. Womack says “full” baseline testing costs too much and should consider a 12-24 months acceptable time frame, so tests already completed can be “grandfathered” in.  Vik Rao disagreed, and said baseline timeframe should be no earlier than 12 months prior to drilling. Amy Pickle said it is unlikely that the water sampling tests USGS conducted in 2012-13 (the State contributed $35,000) were in complete alignment with the requirements of the final S820 legislation.
 
Regarding subsequent tests after drilling, the question is whether ALL water wells need to be retested, or just some, and whether ALL the same chemicals need to be tested, or a subset that would indicate problems (the canary-in-the-mine list). Vik Rao said NC will be the only state to require subsequent tests, but if choose a subset of chemicals, would need to select testing parameters that would not produce a false negative. Rao is investigating specifics.  He mentioned that EPA rules require ZERO methane release by 2015, and says the little operator likely to come to NC will have to comply, and we need to help.  Howard supports a stepped-down approach to subsequent testing; Pickle did also. 
 
Holbrook asked if “industry” gets to review the rules, to get their feedback.  Womack says the Stakeholders Committee has industry representatives, and Lee County just joined the American Counties for Energy Independence (ACEI) which has industry representation [Googled: organized August 2012 in TX with three principal officers, no other info on web].  Pickle, as Rules Committee Chair, said her committee needs to see the whole “suite” of rules first before fiscal notes can be created [NOTE: H94 was amended 6/26 to REMOVE need for fiscal notes for these specific rules].  She cautioned against soliciting input from a single sector [industry] because it results in “unbalanced” input.  [Pearls] Womack said the “industry” is at a “disadvantage” in the Stakeholder process, which could be seen as “imbalanced” by environmental interests. Holbrook said industry must comply with rules and the economic impact on operations may add 10% to 15% more to the costs of doing business in NC...need to create an environment where industry can operate.
 
Air Quality concerns brought by public comment.  Div. of Air Quality can do more, and is installing an ambient air quality monitoring station in Lee County, downwind of the proposed drilling area.  This will be part of the network of 60 stations across the state that continuously measure 89 compounds.  This station will be downstream of the Wake County station and upstream of the existing Montgomery County station.
 
No discussion on Chemical Disclosure and Trade Secrets that had been referred to Rules Committee.  Womack is drafting his own version.  See items 4 and 9 below.
 
4.  Rules Committee; Chair, Amy Pickle. She established a transmittal sheet for submission of all draft rules.
 
Chemical Disclosure and Trade Secrets rule as submitted needed substantial formatting and legal constructions to be acceptable for NC Administrative Code, and needed an abstract of main points, per Amy Pickle.  George Howard, Environmental Standards Committee Chair, told Pickle not to “re-litigate” some of the controversial issues in that rule.  Womack said, “no rush” since he is writing a “new” draft rule, after discussions with the industry.  There was a headline in a Raleigh News & Observer newspaper article (May 3) that indicated a particular company [Halliburton] halted this rule, which he said was incorrect: MEC must be open to new input, which will result in “fuller disclosure.”  Howard characterized the N&O headline as “blow-back” and misrepresented Womack.  Jane Lewis-Raymond asked if the first rule was sent to the Rules Committee prematurely. Womack said new WV rules were just released about “green” options for fracking fluids, so that is why his decision [as Chair, apparently] to rewrite the entire rule.  Charlotte Mitchell, as a member of the Environmental Standards Committee, questioned Womack’s process since the Committee vote was to approve the draft rule and move it forward to the Rules Committee.  This “substitute rule” was a unilateral decision by Womack.  Womack said the first draft “didn’t represent anyone’s interest and our authority to implement,” therefore he wanted to consult industry.  He said Trade Secret provisions are a problem in every state.  He anticipates his rule will be shorter, excises Trade Secrets and makes “full disclosure” the requirement, but with caveats for Trade Secrets [is this doublespeak?].  He is also concerned with how the State of NC will “manage” those trade secrets.  Womack said rule does not need to require “volume concentrations” of each chemical, just name the actual chemical.  He said does not want to spin wheels, so his version will be discussed by the full MEC, not the Environmental Standards Committee.  Womack said he attended a meeting of American Counties for Energy Independence in Houston recently and they are building relationships between local governments (138 counties) and the industry.  The ACEI is ready to “help” NC with rules and best practices, and that is why the Trade Secrets provisions to be revised.  Pickle reviewed her work on the technical language and legal constructions in this first rule.  She said the public “views” Chemical Disclosure and Trade Secrets as a critical metric, but with another version coming from Womack, she referred the existing draft rule back to the full MEC for its June 28 meeting so there can be conversation about a different approach to this rule. 
 
Review of  Water Acquisition and Management Rules for Oil and Gas Operators has been completed.  Staff making final technical corrections. Ready for full MEC discussion at June 28 meeting.  
 
Review of Prohibited Chemicals and Constituents rule has been completed and returned to MEC.  MEC voted “to accept” this rule.
 
NOTE on rule-making and statutory authority:  Womack said to write rules within constraints of statutes, but the MEC will create am omnibus energy bill to address needed statutory changes (examples, Trade Secrets, or the 5,000-ft. “presumptive” liability clause).  Amy Pickle said changes in statutory authority need to be made prior to the October 2014 MEC deadline for rules.  Womack said it would happen in the 2014 Legislative short session; MEC members working on rules should earmark “additional” statutory authority needed for rules they are writing.
 
5.  Local Government Regulation Study Group; Chair, Charles Taylor.  Invited Registrar of Deeds to discuss split estates.  Does local government have jurisdictional authority on oil and gas lines, property lines and emergency response?  Don Kosvascitz, Lee County GIS, and Land Records researched split estates.  Initially they had identified 35 split parcels, but the number has grown to 155.  Tom Morgan, from the Secretary of State’s office of Register of Deeds, suggests the only way an owner can to be sure about their mineral rights is to search the property deeds. 
 
6.  Compulsory Pooling Study Group; Chair, Ray Covington, vice chair Charlotte Mitchell. 
Approved several recommendations with the objective to recommend a legislative framework to “equalize” bargaining between owner and operator, and if that does not occur, then consider compulsory pooling.  However, the Study Group, reached different conclusions based on if the operator is dealing with a “leased” interest, or “non-leased” interest.  The Study Group feels that a “leased” interest can be compelled into a drilling unit [signing a lease indicates a willingness to drill].  Unleased interests are different and the group is reticent to compel those owners.  The operator should be required to document that it made a “fair and reasonable” offer before any compulsory pooling order can be issued.  There should be no entry onto pooled land unless the operator reaches an agreement with the surface owner.  The “pooled”owner must share in the costs of of production, either through (a) paying a share of the cost of drilling; (b) surrender of working interest with MEC setting terms; (c) paying an assessed Risk-penalty which means all costs are carried up-front by the operator until the well is producing, then a percentage penalty is applied to that person’s share of the drilling costs.  The Study Group has not decided on what that penalty might be, and the MEC might have a range (e.g. from 100% to 200%) it can set.  Another recommendation is to “dissolve the pooling order” after one year, if NO activity.  Also, require operators to indemnify surface owners from third-party damage claims.  Another recommendation is to “notice” surface owners prior to entry of operator, and several reporting requirements that allow auditing of records and royalties paid to the owners. 
 
Womack said in PA, Chesapeake Energy Corp. is alleged to have abrogated on rights to landowners and there is a pending lawsuit because of bills Chesapeake presented to landowners to recover post-production costs.  He said he has asked for more scope on pending S76 legislation so MEC can  study creation of a “restitution fund because of fraud.” That should be another item for the Compulsory Pooling Study Group.  Ken Taylor said there is a $4 million bond required in Alabama to fund restitution, so could use bond funds for this.  Ken said if two operators are side-by-side, could compel one into a pool.  Holbook doesn’t like a non-leased holdout from thwarting the majority who want to drill.  
 
7. Funding Levels and Funding Sources Study Group; Chair, Jane Lewis-Raymond.   Lewis-Raymond said expects to have recommendations by end of June.  Discussion about impact fees being based on level of activity rather than “price” of gas.  Vik Rao said should be dealing with “costs” of impacts, such as roads and local environment, and doesn’t matter if it is wet or dry gas. What would be proxies for activity?  Horizontal well length and stages, volume of transportation...stuff that would be in the actual permit.  Womack said include wellpad orientation.  What about dry holes [expect them].  S76 was considering cost-recovery through the severance tax, but a later version removed it.  Study Group should consider all approaches, per Womack.  Lewis-Raymond said she was looking at offsetting costs to State government to administer this program.  Study Group is reviewing bonding section and separate needs for site reclamation, orphans, abandonment. 
 
Factoid:  Holbrook says 6,000 cubic feet of gas equals 1 barrel of oil in energy output.
 
8.  Coordinated Permitting.  New Study Group, headed by Ken Taylor, State Geologist, is composed of members of numerous divisions in DENR, such as Air Quality, Water Resources, Water Quality, Land Resources, that all have permitting responsibilities that will be involved in siting and operations of a hydraulic fracturing operation.  DENR already has established coordinated permits for other industries.  In PA, for example, the review of the consolidated permit may take 6 business days, and all state agencies look at the same full application.  Questions about electronic submittal, or paper.
 
9.  Trade Secret Study Group.  Headed by Jim Womack, he said MEC’s first draft rule would have “issues” with the Legislature that needed more investigation. Study group members will involve the School of Government and have a more limited scope, including establishing two-year confidentiality, especially during exploration, prior to anything being available through public records.  Womack said this is intellectual property, and is competition sensitive.  Will have to have exceptions for public records, and consider how NC rules address confidential status, will need to change Statutory language.
 
10.  Presentation by Lee County GIS on split estates.  Don Kosvascitz showed the extent of split estates (where mineral rights/owners are severed by deed from the surface owners).  Lee County has 8,600 acres that are split estates, but only 5,500 of those acres are listed for ad valorum taxes in the tax assessors office.  Many people do not know if they own their mineral rights, since it requires extensive deed research to find if the rights were severed, and was it all or some specific mineral rights, and to what portion of the property does it pertain.  He said one man, J. Daniel Butler, owns 2,600 acres of mineral rights in Lee County.  Witmar Company has leased 5,945 acres of the 6,800 acres already leased in Lee County, and most are 20-year leases.  He used the geographic information system (GIS) to show how various setbacks and buffers will restrict well-head placement.  He also showed the rivers, streams, floodplains in the area, as well as the water supply wells that would require a minimum 100-ft. setbacks.  Womack was impressed, and wants to use GIS when MEC considers location of drilling units.
 
11.  Air Quality Presentation, new Site in Lee County.  Mike Abrazinskas, Director, Div. Air Quality, said new ambient air quality monitoring station will be set up in Lee County (Blackston Rd., southwest of Sanford) to establish the baseline emissions for one-year.  It will be part of the network of 60 existing stations across NC, and will be between the Wake Co station and one in Montgomery Co.  There are 89 toxic compounds that are lab-tested every six days...the same day for all sites.  There is continuous monitoring of ozone, fine particles, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide.  Methane, however, is not on the list.  Vik Rao said Lee County site should also test for methane and ethane.  The sites also monitor meteorological data. This one-year monitoring/testing will establish the baseline for future oil and gas operations.  Amy Pickle asked about the level of sensitivity, and site-specific impacts that the ambient monitoring might not catch.  How can we know there is a violation?  Some parameters could be in the permit, but Pickle said that pre-drilling activities are not under a permit, and how would Div. of Air Quality handle those impacts?  Abrazinskas said the Division “could” model.
 
12.  Public Comments.
Teresa Vick (Blue Ridge Environmental Defense):  Since industry wants changes in chemical disclosure, why didn’t they speak at the MEC meetings during public comment?  It implies, on part of the public, that the industry has exercised undue influence already.  Also mentioned Lee County outreach to land owners through mail contact and thanked Amy Pickle for mentioning human health concerns and those costs in the rule discussion. 
Hope Taylor, Clean Water NC: Noted that DENR’s Stakeholders group is very diverse, and uses a consensus process...very important. Said more public hearings are needed to give people time to read and comment. 
Martha Girolami (retired chemical engineer): Based on Lee County’s GIS overview, setbacks will be daunting, and fewer wellpads will be a better solution.  Wants Air Quality data early, through the drilling activity, and test for hydrochloric acid and carbon monoxide.
Charles Bragard (Chatham): wants some evening meetings, monitoring and DENR staff funding, and some guarantees when an operator goes out of business, abandoning their agreements.  Also, if companies say “full-disclosure” what does that mean.
Libby Hutchby (Wake Co): Common good vs. gambling.
James Robinson (Rural Advancement Foundation): On Stakeholders group, said there are 3 industry members and work is done thru consensus, need more health and environmental members to balance.
 
 Diana Hales, retired
 
 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

MEC reports MAY2-JUNE6

We are so lucky to have folks take time out of their lives to go to these meetings and take notes like Diane and Therese . Please read and share !

Note:  The four standing Committees are meeting more often to craft rules.  These notes cover meetings on May 2, May 31, and June 6.  Since the discussions now focus on rule content, the notes summarize key provisions and relevant presentations.
 
 
No injection wells coming to coastal NC, disposing of well drilling waste and waste water; NC company shares expertise in gas well construction in PA, Well Construction rules and Stakeholder recommendations; No diesel fuels allowed in fracking, Baseline and follow-up testing of all (or portion) of water wells within 5,000-ft of well head, Lee County gets new Air Quality monitoring station; water acquisition and management rules
 
(1) Water and Waste Management Committee; Chair, Vik Rao
(a) Injection wells in NC coastal plain?  Early version of Senate Bill 76 included a provision that would overturn the 1973 state law that prohibits injection wells; but it has now been removed.  Rao contended that it was too far to transport the fracking chemicals and, because of depth of water aquifers, only one location in Brunswick County might be viable, and it is close to a nuclear plant. 
 
(b) Draft rule on waste disposal of flowback and produced water.  The Committee’s first draft rule on “Water Acquisition and Management” has been sent to the Rules Committee. The second rule, “Exploration and Production Waste Management” considers how waste will be managed, stored, reused, removed from the site, and how in-ground water pits are constructed (Note: might be changed to above-ground open storage...called “corrals” in gas industry).  MEC member Amy Pickle mentioned “pits” are not well perceived in NC because of animal waste “lagoons;”covered tanks would be preferable.  Setbacks for tanks or pit storage must be sufficient to protect water bodies; pits must maintain two-foot freeboard (not expecting any hurricanes?) and operators must take action to prevent spills.  Other pits could hold drill cuttings that may also contain polluting substances and fluids.  The bottom of pit shall be at least 20-inches above”seasonal high groundwater table,” and have leak detection zones, flexible liners, and berm around it to keep stormwater out.  Can used unlined pits for drill cuttings, if DENR approves process.  Drill cuttings can be reused on site or hauled to permitted landfill.  Water can be reused, but at end of production phase, water would be taken offsite and (a) land applied after pretreatment [working on what that means], or (b) disposed in an approved wastewater treatment facility.  All spills and releases shall be reported.  Volumes greater than 20 barrels must be reported within 24 hours of discovery; a spill threatening to impact a surface water intake it must be reported within 2 hours of discovery. Transportation shall be to permitted facilities, monitoring and reporting.  Staff is making another round of revisions.
 
(2) Administration of Oil and Gas Committee; Chair, Charles Holbrook and Vice Chair, Jane Lewis-Raymond
(a) NC company in gas/oil business. Holbrook invited Kleinfelder, Inc. an NC gas well construction firm in business for 25 years, to discuss NC challenges.  Jeff Crisp said they are working on gathering lines in the Utica shale.  Kleinfelder provides engineering design, environmental permitting for things like stormwater control and endangered species; construction/decommissioning; operations and compliance.  Says in Marcellus shale, the “compressor station” covers about 65 acres in the gathering complex.  In OH, 30-miles of liquid gathering pipeline feed into a compressor station.  There are 300 miles of pipe routing in PA and OH.  Said “compressor stations” have a huge noise impact; they can do ambient noise testing, but it is costly to mitigate noise.  “Compressor stations” can serve numerous well heads.  NC could do either a state permit or the “Nationwide 12” permit for utility crossings for streets and pipelines in the gathering infrastructure, and Army Corps of Engineers 404 permits for crossing wetlands.  The horizontal direction drill (HDD) is part of the gathering lines. Encouraged use of water and filter bags for pipeline.  NC challenges:  unknown supply quality and quantity; relatively SMALL play; how to control for environmental impacts (PA went from 74 pages to 500 pages in their documentation covering erosion control).  PA is also now requiring background tests for groundwater before drilling begins; drill casing should protect the aquifers.  Didn’t have any info on surface spills/accidents in PA.  PA and WV have above-ground “corrals” with liners for frack water retention, instead of in-ground impoundments.  Could also lay more water pipelines if reusing frack water.  PA missteps: Local Townships manage their roads and many are not paved; PA did not have riparian buffers until last year; did not estimate traffic; and poor zoning codes for this infrastructure.
 
(b) Draft Well Construction standards.  This rule covers the specifics of construction, including multiple steel casings, cement standards and verification of the cement bonds to the casings, blowout prevention and testing, and record keeping.  DENR’s Stakeholder group met twice to consider the proposed rules.  Their first meeting on well construction considered each of the casing stages (conductor, surface, intermediate, production) and need for cementing each one so that this special cement either (i) reaches the surface, or (ii) overlaps the previous casing by 200-feet; and verify the adhesion/strength of the cement through pressure tests or continuous “cement bond logs.” Stakeholders want the operator to give 48 hour notice so a DENR inspector can be onsite during the cementing operation(s).  The stakeholders recommended that a qualified individual (certified by industry training) be on site 24-hours day at the wellsite.  The stakeholders reviewed and made recommendations on proposed wellhead standards, pressure rating and safety, signage, fencing and setbacks.  Many stakeholder recommendations were incorporated into the draft rule set.  Not to leave the industry out, Holbrook invited Mr. Thom Alexander, Southwestern Energy, TX to review the proposed standard.  He disagreed with requiring continuous “cement bond logs,”since collecting the logs at intervals was sufficient, based on his experience.  He said there are other ways to evaluate the surface casing using pressure readings rather than waiting 8-12 hours for cement test results.  He said operator will conduct a “leak-off” test anyway.  Alexander said verifying cement to surface for “intermediate” casing was OK, but the production casing, the deepest one, is more problematic. Holbrook mentioned that drilling in the NC shale will be shallow and therefore might not need intermediate casing at all, so must verify cement to surface with production casing.  The surface casing must extend 100-ft below the water table, so it would likely be at a depth of 650-ft.   Holbrook was concerned with isolating coal seams and methane, and making sure surface casing reaches “competent rock.”  This committee moved the draft to the Rules Committee for review, questions, and formatting even though a few sections remain to be written: well stimulation, chemical treatment, wellhead requirements, well maintenance, completion reports, plugging and abandonment, record keeping.
 
(3) Environmental Standards Committee; Chair, George Howard; Vice Chair, Ray Covington
(a) Prohibited Chemicals and Constituents rule.  Ryan Channell (DENR) drafted rule to prohibit diesel products from use in fracking fluids, following guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency. The rule was moved to the Rules Committee.
 
(b) Draft Baseline and Subsequent Testing Requirements rule.  This rule establishes how all groundwater wells (household, domestic, livestock, irrigation, public, commercial) will be tested within 5,000-ft. of a proposed wellhead to establish the baseline BEFORE drilling activities begin.  This rule will eclipse all other states since it covers the largest area and greatest number of constituents.  All tests shall be analyzed by a certified laboratory, and include pH, specific conductance, total dissolved solids (TDS), turbidity, alkalinity, calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfate, arsenic, barium, bromide, chromium, iron, manganese, selenium,  benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, diesel range organics (DRO), dissolved methane, gasoline range organics (GRO), radium isotopes, strontium isotopes. Tests can be no earlier than 12 months but no later than 30 days prior to drilling activities, and would apply to the first well drilled on the pad.  Question is which of these chemicals need to be tested in the subsequent samplings, 6 to 12 months AFTER completion of all wells on the well pad, and again at 18 to 24 months.  The draft rule indicates ALL wells should be retested, but there was discussion of which specific chemicals act as the “canary list,” that could form a testing subset that would result in reliable data about contamination.  The second draft limited the subsequent sampling and testing to pH, specific conductance, TDS, dissolved methane, chloride and divalent cations.  Well operators must fully test all constituents if evidence of contamination is found, AND replace any contaminated water supplies.  Calculation of NC baseline tests within 5,000 ft. is estimated at $1,718/per well; if the same chemicals are tested in all the same wells both at 12 months and 24 months after production, the estimated cost to the operator is almost $107,000 if there are 42 wells in area.  The rule will be discussed one more time before being finalized.
 
DENR’s Ryan Channell had further discussion about “indicator parameters” for subsequent water well testing (or the canary list) and what might signal problems.  Looked at academic papers for guidance: chloride, divalent cations, and TDS are most reliable indicators when found in high concentrations in groundwater.  In surface waters, high concentrations of sodium, calcium, chloride, strontium, barium, and bromides could indicate problems.  Ken Taylor asked what is the threshold of increase for each indicator, so it can be differentiated from “white noise.”  Amy Pickle said we want a reliable indicator checklist from chemistry and is in favor of retesting all wells, unless a step-down approach is sufficient.  Womack suggested MEC get Duke University opinion on a step-down approach.
 
(c) Air Quality and Baseline Testing.  It was noted in the May 2 public comment session that the air quality testing section in Baseline Sampling rule was minimal and did not cover the chemicals commonly associated with this industry. The chair invited a presentation from DENR’s Div. of Air Quality, Mike Araczinskas, who said there is no special permit required for fracking since they do not come under “stack” (source-oriented) emission rules.  However, the Division will establish an additional permanent ambient air quality monitoring station in Lee County, to add to the network of 60 North Carolina stations. The current monitoring stations in Wake County (northeast of Lee Co) and Montgomery County (southwest of Lee Co) will provide upwind/downwind readings.  By establishing the Lee County station now, this will provide a baseline of monitoring the same 89 compounds for a year, including ozone, fine particles, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.  The tests at the Wake Co and Montgomery Co sites will be measured on the same day.  The one-year testing covers all seasonal patterns.  He mentioned that the EPA only comes into play when an area reaches “non-attainment” for air quality under federal rules.  Amy Pickel asked whether this industry could push the Piedmont into “non-attainment.”  Ken Taylor mentioned that Wyoming got out of control and reached EPA’s non-attainment designation with this industry.
 
(d) Setbacks.  All committees are working with setbacks.  Take up at June 27 committee meeting.
 
(4) Rules Committee; Chair Amy Pickle
This committee focuses on language consistency, rule structure and content clarification, where needed, in each rule. 
 
(a) The first rule to complete the process, submitted by Water and Waste Management Committee, is Water Acquisition and Management Rules for Oil and Gas Operators.  Highlights of rule:  The Water Management Plan must include detailed application criteria that ID property for source of waters to be used, maximum daily water withdrawals; total quantity of water for project; proposed structures for transport/storage of water; maps of proposed water sources (could be water wells, streams, springs, wetlands, and areas of known contamination); proposed utility rights of way associated with project; alternative water sources such as flowback or produced water; alternative sources in times of drought; and monitoring/reporting.  The Water Management Plan is a section of the comprehensive oil and gas permit application, and could address future water use for multiple well pads.  No water use activity can proceed until the water management plan is approved by DENR
 
The rule requires water source documentation that indicates all surface water sources (with topo maps) showing withdrawal locations, proposed start and ending date of withdrawals, proposed average and maximum daily withdrawals in millions-of-gallons-per-day (mgd), land owners where withdrawal takes place; calculates the 7Q10 flow [historic lowest stream flow recorded over 7 days in a 10-yr. period] at each surface water intake in order to know, in times of drought, when cumulative maximum withdrawals must be reduced to 20% of 7Q10; conduct a Natural Heritage Survey to determine presence of protected species that will be affected, and, identify and prevent the spread of invasive species.  On groundwater sources, applicant must provide topos showing location of wells, proposed maximum daily withdrawals in mgd, and expected total withdrawal; if drill new well for purpose of water withdrawal, must get a well construction permit; results of aquifer pump test for each well to show rate of water recovery; map showing extent of “area of influence” determined by aquifer pump test and location of all water wells and surface waters within that area; and drought-indicator wells to know when water levels are at or below 5th percentile of historic water level measurements (Div of Water Resources) and when that is reached, withdrawals shall CEASE.  For purchased water sources, applicants shall ID the water supplier, have a letter of commitment (or contract), type of water to be provided (potable water, treated wastewater, reclaimed water, raw water); proposed average and max amount of water to be provided daily in mgd; expected total maximum amount to be used; and proposed method of transport of water from supplier.  Section on alternative water sources, such as using flowback or produced water, and applicant must answer WHY these methods are rejected, if not in plan.  Section on monitoring and reporting, including the metering of daily water pumping schedules, amount of stored water, quantities of flowback for recycling/reuse to be stored onsite; and all is reported annually to DENR.   Surface-owners must be notified 30 days before operator enters property for land-disturbing activity.
This rule has been referred to full MEC for consideration at its June 28 meeting.
 
(b) The second rule, Chemical Disclosure Requirements, was pushed back to MEC for further discussion.  Jim Womack (MEC chair) is working on a second “version” of the rule because he was unhappy with Trade Secret provisions after Halliburton (big player in this industry) expressed their concerns.  Amy Pickle had reviewed the initial rule as submitted by the Environmental Standards Committee and made technical corrections regarding format and citations, but does not want Rules Committee to use its time in discussion of various provisions until the full MEC hears the substance of the second version being “written” by Womack, not the Environmental Standards Committee.  She directed DENR staff to incorporate her technical changes as identified and submit to MEC for full discussion.  This rule will solidify the types of disclosure, who it is made to, and various responsibilities (including emergency response), who keeps records, and WHAT chemicals need to be disclosed, or protected as Trade Secrets, and disclosure (or not) to health professionals, and court appeals. Pearl:  George Howard, chair of Environmental Standards Committee, said MEC should not be surprised since Womack needed “input” from the Legislature, DENR and Halliburton on Chemical Disclosure.
 
(c) The third rule, Prohibited Chemicals and Constituents, from the Environmental Standards Committee, was reviewed.  This rule prohibits using diesel, kerosene, and petroleum distillates, and crude oil in fracturing activities, based on EPA guidelines.
This rule has been referred to full MEC for consideration at its June 28 meeting.
 
Diana Hales, retired
 
 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fracking SB76 on the floor of the house,back Monday

Breaking SB76 will go back to the Senate floor Monday ! Friday summary of action:
House gives final approval to its version of S76 Fracking changes 71-32.

Goes back to Senate.  
Call your Reps and tell them
"Protect NC Tourism and AG , our Main $$ coming into our state !  fracking our land and communities will ruin this income !!!"




It is raining here in Sanford and I was away for a couple days, so I am trying to catch up with the SB76 information ?

Well I just typed in "NC SB76" and found lots of stuff . Like the link to see the bill in all 6 versions so far ... lots of marking out and adding to for sure !
http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/PDF/S76v6.pdf

this article with a video of some of what happened Weds. at the House .
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2013/06/05/fracking-advances-amid-confusion-over-reorganization-of-state-agencies-video/

Then I found this link where I was able to listen to the full debates at the House.
http://www.voterradio.com/player/index.php

I must say it was hard to listen to it all this ... 
Listening to Mike Stone and some others selling fracking like it is the best thing out there and totally trying to make it sound like everyone that are Really INFORMED are okay with SB76 ?????

 I was ready to go out in the pouring rain to cool off after hearing Mike saying ,
" When all the fracking /MEC meetings/study groups got started 100's of people were showing up wanting to get Informed about what might happen if they frack? But Now since NC people are more Informed they don't go to the meetings and that shows me (mike) that people feel safe with the MEC .
What ?
 I was SO angry when I heard this "LIE" .
I wanted to drive there and just go scream out...
"This is a lie, people have to work, they can Not take off work to go to all these meetings.
We aren't allowed to Really be heard there and we are often treated badly for showing concern!
They don't properly inform the General Public of these meetings and so called workshops .
Plus most of the agendas aren't even on the DENR/MEC website till the day or 2 before ?"

I want to personally Thank all the Representatives that are speaking up for NC people instead of the Oil and Gas Companies future in NC  !

Representative Pricey Harrison “This also promotes offshore drilling, and I think many of us are concerned about what that means to our coast,” 

 Representative Deb McManus, for Lee 54/Chatham, I wish You were REP 51 also !
Thank YOU for speaking out for the people of NC !
Mike Stone said , " People are not going to meetings, blah ..."
You told Mike & the House the truth !
"Yes we are still very worried But "We Must continue Going to Work and can not go to Every meeting the MEC pops up with !!! "
For the record many don't believe Mike is listening to Lee County people at all!
 unless of course they agree with fracking  !
 I have written him with NO replies back and called his office only to be allowed to leave a message that is not returned .

Thank you ,  Representative Becky Carney who spoke out and said , "We are telling our citizens 1 thing and doing another !"
"The budget is important but not as important as Our resource  Water." She also said , "Let the studies (as Promised ) Take place before you make your rulings !"


"It is reasonable to wait till the EPA issues a report on whether fracking causes contamination – damage – or not  to the most important issue going forward in this state, our water," said Carney . "I don’t understand why we can’t do and adhere to what we voted on with a mistaken vote last year. What is the rush?"


again,
Thank You to all the Reps for Standing up  , who said ,
"Slow down , don't fast track fracking in NC."


 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fracking and Railroads in NC ?



read the full story http://marcelluseffect.blogspot.com/2013/05/frack-sand-coming-to-railroad-near-you.html

Fracking and Railroads in NC ??

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported in February that U.S. Class I railroads originated a record 233,811 carloads of crude oil in 2012, representing a 256 percent gain (not a typo) from the 65,751 carloads of crude oil originated in 2011.
While this was happening, 2012 coal loadings were down 726,257 carloads or 10.8 percent. This link tells how Happy the rail folks are getting with this fracking mess ...but it does mention after all the past rises there has been falling !!!

these earlier periods of “good times” were almost always followed by a significant market drop lasting for years ....
http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/blogs/tony-kruglinski/fracking-the-view-from-50000-feet-up.html?channel=

What about NC Rails ,what are like these days ?
Road Worrier: North Carolina tries to get money out of its railroad

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/10/23/2430917/road-worrier-north-carolina-tries.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/10/23/2430917/road-worrier-north-carolina-tries.html#storylink=cpy
The North Carolina Railroad has a complicated relationship with its namesake and sole shareholder: North Carolina.
Each day, 60 freight trains and 10 passenger trains travel NCRR tracks that curve across the state for 317 miles, from Charlotte to Morehead City. Norfolk Southern Railroad pays $14 million a year to use the NCRR tracks.
The NCRR operates as a private corporation, but it is owned entirely by the public – the taxpayers of North Carolina.
The railroad does not receive tax dollars from the state. And, although it is a solvent and profitable enterprise, it does not pay dividends to the state.
The N.C. Railroad makes money. In a struggling economy, North Carolina needs money. These tensions between the NCRR and its owner were highlighted last week by two developments.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/10/23/2430917/road-worrier-north-carolina-tries.html#storylink=cpy

Now what do they haul to use for fracking ...

Frack Sand – coming to a railroad near you?
frack sand is special. It’s not dirt; it’s tiny silica crystals – tiny sharp crystals just the right size for breathing in and lodging into the interior of worker’s lungs. Not to mention the lungs of people living and breathing near drill sites.
It can take up to four million pounds of frack sand to stimulate a single well.


Rail transportation possible for water in gas fracking
http://www.hsconnect.com/page/content.detail/id/582419/Rail-transportation-possible-for-water-in-gas-fracking.html?nav=5010



okay here are more articles if you like .

The fracking boom, as told in six railroad industry graphs

Moving crude oil by rail story could be more than a chapter or two

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lee County Environmental Review & Advisory Committee ???

 "The U.S. Mint can't print enough money to induce me to let fracking take place on my land," said Moore County landowner Joe McDonald, who heads up a group called Save Our Sandhills.
I like that statement .
Well I have spent most of the day compiling info about the new


Lee County Environmental Review & Advisory Committee !
Now here is my Question do we still have a Board for the County and City ?
here is City stuff
To start with, the letter that tells there is an opening and how to qualify says
" you Must live in the City Limits "
 I knew Several folks from County wanted to do this But was out of the City limits !  http://www.sanfordnc.net/environmental%20affairs%20board%20vacancy.pdf
 
 
  have you read this ? Is this why we have a NEW Sanford Environmental affairs board /& Lee County Environmental Review & Advisory Committee  ?
this was in Feb 10, 2012 from the old board !
​now this was in Feb 2013 ? hmmm​
 
The Lee Co Environmental Review & Advisory Committee replaced the now-defunct Lee Co Environmental Affairs Board, after a vote by the commissioners in January. 

Here is the Application I found for this which says if you are a Lee County Citizen you can be on it ? http://www.leecountync.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=1rq1NCxbJmo%3D&tabid=38
 
Here is the list of all the people on the Lee Co Environmental Review & Advisory Committee
 http://www.leecountync.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=00OeJCaBZGg%3D&tabid=407
Two staff members — someone from the Lee County Department of Health and Cooperative Extension — would also serve on the board, Womack said.
 
Russ Patterson, a geologist with Patterson Exploration Services of Sanford has a PO Box for an address on the list !
His business address is 1907 Boone Trail Rd, Sanford, NC 27330  is that city limits ? Martin Matthews lives here http://goo.gl/maps/nNE8u
 
Here is an article with a video of Russ too  .
 



“There is no real history of problems from fracking anywhere,” said Russ Patterson, a geologist with Patterson Exploration Services of Sanford.

more from Russ ...
Russ Patterson of Patterson Exploration in Sanford, has photos of a 1974 Lee County drilling site hanging on his office wall. Tests confirm methane gas deposits and even oil are located thousands of feet below in rock formations.
"We have coal bed methane right here," Patterson said. "I think you should drill everywhere you can drill to get what you can get." http://www.wral.com/news/local/wral_investigates/story/3561937/

 
okay I am burnt out on this , let me know what you think???
Peace