Friday, January 31, 2014

Deep River Triassic Rift Basin

Yep Mike Stone is so for fracking NC. This was a flyer going around here in Lee County in 2012. I can't wait to get him voted out this time!

I posted this link to a slideshow a while back but thought it maybe interesting to some of the newer NC folks starting to learn about fracking .
Certain folks in Lee County have been plotting to drill here a long time . I found this interesting photo album .

Deep River Triassic Rift Basin in Lee Co , had a Shale party .
Geologists, energy businessmen, and local landowners joined a Geological Society of America Southeastern Section field trip exploring the Sanford Sub-Basin, of the Deep River Triassic Rift Basin in Lee County, examining the potential for natural gas to be extracted on Saturday, March 26, 2011
LOOK closely at the folks in these pictures,  some of them are now deciding our fate of our state .
I have to say I recognize a lot more of them now than I did nearly 2 years ago when I started this fight.

Mike Stone ,  represents NC House District 51, including the City of Sanford, Lee County and Western Harnett County.
Ray Covington , on the Fracking Commission and co- partners in with brothers Rob and Russ Knight of

Russ Patterson of Patterson Exploration ....also on the NEW commissioner appointed Lee County Environmental Review & Advisory Committee  .'
 Also the fellow in the blue coat on the last picture is also on our 'Lee County Environmental Review & Advisory Committee'

Here is one of the PDF's made from this field trip.

this article was written shortly after this Field trip and many of the same folks are quoted in the article.

 Video from Sanford Herald

let me know if you recognize anyone.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

fracking Ad hominem attacks from J Womack

Well I posted my comment to Womack but it said it had to be moderated 1st ? Hmm that was a 1st . So I will post it here .
Insults stir me , but I use research to attack my offenders .
Not Ad hominem attacks like Womack !
Ad hominem attacks can take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes as a way to discredit their argument.

This is Jim Womack reply to a Lee County citizen’s concerns about fracking in NC.

Balderdash. More hysteria from those who spew emotional drivel rather than balanced, fact-based truth about the industry. Mrs. Wood knows full well that property values rise substantially in drilling zones- in the Eagle Ford Shale they are up as much as 900% in just four years across McMullen County, TX. Only in very rare circumstances are property values diminished.

Air quality goes up as the result of drilling, not down as Mrs. Wood might have you believe. Increasing supplies of shale energy allows Duke Energy to convert more electric plants to cleaner burning natural gas, retiring the dirtier coal-fired facilities. The 25% or so improvement in air quality across Pennsylvania the past five years was a shock to everyone. But it is intuitively obvious that shale energy is much cleaner to burn and much more efficient than coal.

Industrial zones are all over this county- they have been since the early 1900's as Lee County became an industrial and manufacturing hub. We are striving to expand those zones and to host even more companies with high paying jobs (just like the ones this industry brings). It's part of the Lee County heritage.

And finally, there is no moratorium in place. The prohibition on horizontal drilling was lifted with Senate Bill 820 in 2012. Vertical drilling, care sampling, and seismic testing are permissible today. Shale Energy extraction has the legislative green light to plan now for issuance of horizontal drilling permits in spring 2015. When the MEC is finished codifying its rules, the general assembly will grant permission for horizontal drilling to commence and DENR will begin issuing those permits.

 Here is MY reply to him.
#6 Of course, there are two sides to any coin and the tremendous growth seen in communities around Texas has brought on a host of other social ills. Camps full of young men making spectacular money with little to spend it on are a goldmine for peddlers of sex and drugs. Traffic accidents in McMullen County have jumped by 300 percent since the start of the latest Texas oil boom.
Now let’s compare the Size & Populous of this county , You say has 900% property value increase, fact-(based truth? )which I can’t find that report in your Ad hominem attacks ?
Fact : There are over 82% More people living in Lee Co in about ¼ amount of land .
McMullen County , Texas, As of the 2010 census, its population was 707, making it the fifth least populous county in Texas. Area: 1,143 sq miles (2,960 km²) Population: 726 (2012)
Lee County , North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 57,866. Its county seat is Sanford.  Area: 259 sq miles (670.8 km²) Population: 59,715 (2012)  Source Wikipedia
Not all the folks in that little county in Texas are happy with the G&O companies or the pipeline folks either.
On Feb. 1, 2012, Texas started requiring operators to disclose the composition of fracking fluids on FracFocus.
But the law also allows companies to withhold the “identity and amount of the chemical ingredient used” as a trade secret. And it lets companies determine what is a trade secret.
“What’s the point? Where is the value in that?” asked landowner Bill Sibley, whose family owns ranches in Atascosa, McMullen and Duval counties that once belonged to his great-grandfather. “I’ve heard they’ve used everything from formaldehyde to instant coffee. Who knows? Nobody knows for sure.”
or this article about land being Devalued with pipelines going through McMullen County farmland.
Fracking-driven energy boom means oil and gas wells are becoming the norm in some neighborhoods
Published on Oct 3, 2013 
loading oil near a huge flare at the freshly frac'd Debill well west of McMullen Co,Tilden, TX.
 Things really started heating up.

So that is my research . Don't frack with my friends !

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lee Co Commish Kirk D Smith , Veritas vos Liberabit

Who is Kirk ?

the first words that came out of his mouth here , turns out to be an Un-truth !
He says "He believes Government should  protect life , liberty & PROPERTY ?"
Read the blog he wrote as a guest writer on one of the most Right winged blogs from Lee County that I have found. 

Now here is an endorsement by the blog Womadison / Jim writes for

here is another blogged by Mr Madison about Kirk's letter to the editor about Mike Stone after  WRAL wrote "Lawmaker upset when daughter's class appeals for school funding "

Now his attitude on fracking ...
I am not going to go back on all the letters Kirk has written to the editor or all the comments .
but I will point out a few .
Here is a statement he made at the end of a letter he wrote back to Bob Holder who wrote asking "How will fracking affect our water supply ? "

kirk's letter back made no sense , ranting about BS , NO facts . this below is how he ended his letter.
"Allow me the opportunity to provide Mr. Holder any number of online resources to overcome the propaganda that demonizes our potential for energy independence. He may contact me at "
Kirk D. Smith
Vice Chairman
Lee County Commission

Well his letter did not make Bob too happy so he wrote him a letter too ... How about some Straight Answers ... Kirk did not seem to write back ??

Oct 12th he commented to Keely Wood's Letter .

then again to Ed Harris's Letter
Kirk's feeling About the ACA and our President ...
The Affordable Care Act is neither caring or affordable! You are not allowed “to keep your insurance if you like it” or “keep your doctor,” and you certainly won’t “see your premiums drop” as the many lies spewed by the dear leader and his myrmidons indicate.

Now if you would like for Kirk to know how you feel about fracking and or his attitude to people .
Write a letter to the Editor of "The Sanford Herald " according to Kirk he reads them all ...

Unlike some of our most prominent progressives, I read each and every letter in The Herald, as it provides a variety of opinions that helps each one of us understand other's viewpoints. Furthermore, these citizens are exercising their free speech and press rights, as well as taking their precious time to do such. Just remember, tyrants do not allow opposing viewpoints!
As always, I shall remain in Search of our God-given Liberties!
Kirk D. Smith
Vice Chairman
Lee County Board of Commissioners


Friday, January 24, 2014

letters 2 Editor on fracking part 2

LETTER: Fracking needs a longer look
Humor is one of my favorite ways to get through the day. It gives us energy and moves all of the right muscles on our faces. I do admit that I don't read the funny pages of The Sanford Herald every day, but I do read it many days. I do not like the new comic, Fort Knox. I do not believe that it reflects a positive image of our beloved United States Military. Beetle Bailey is still a private after 60 some years, but his story is a more comedic representation of our military and doesn't seem to be as harmful or represent anger or ridicule of the military as much as Fort Knox. Can we get a more positive comic in place of Fort Knox?
On a more serious note, please look up the article concerning hydraulic fracturing (fracking), written by Mr. Richard Hayes, and read that and please do what you can to get our representatives to take a longer look before they begin the fracking process. After they begin, they are not likely to stop until every flake, or degree, or whatever the process of measurement is called, is collected from our earth. And now, we do not know what the true cost of this extraction will be. It is my opinion that Lee County and its citizens will not reap enough money to make this venture worthwhile. They need to prove it to us long before this work begins. I agree with Mr. Hayes that there needs to be much more investigation into hydraulic fracturing (fracking) before the sound of any engine is heard.
Janet Chilton

This letter reminded me of that great letter from Richard . JIM Womack used an alias  James Madison to defend fracking ,listed below ...

I am encouraged, hopeful and believe that ordinary citizens must and will have the final word on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in Lee County.
As an avowed “environmentalist” with a bias toward good stewardship of the God-given land with which we have been entrusted, including protecting our clean rivers, streams and ground water from toxic waste, and keeping clean the air that we breathe, I believe that we may be on the cusp of risking the loss of much of these precious natural resources for future generations if we do not get more involved in this insidious movement underway right before our eyes … and perhaps soon under our feet!
I have been to half a dozen public meetings on fracking. I understand more clearly than before that “fracking” at best remains a risky business, especially when/if it should be opened up to the smaller “wildcat” operators attracted to relatively smaller markets like this one. And as we all know, living with and around big oil and gas has always been risky business, as in Exxon Valdese, as in BP in the Gulf, as in fracking gone wrong in fracked landscapes all over this country, i.e. almost everywhere it has been undertaken where it has been caught and exposed!
I understand energy independence. I also understand alternative sources of energy as in solar, wind and water rather than fossil fuels that produce methane and carbon — which are responsible in part for global warming. Most importantly, I understand energy conservation that one day will help us use less and get over and beyond our century-long habit of burning fossil fuel.
And yes, there is evidence to suggest that over the next 25 years, natural gas will be one, but only one, factor significantly helping us to break our national addiction to Mideast oil. Is shale gas production a short-term boon to some places but not to all? Probably yes. More specifically, is Lee County and “home” to many of us going to be worth living in and around after the gas folks come in, frack the gas and get out? What will the long-term cost be to those left behind?
The jury is still out on that question. Some economic models suggest that no other energy investments could provide fewer “real” jobs and fewer long-term benefits than fracking in small landscapes like our local Triassic Basin.
Geologically, the local Triassic Basin, where we are located with Lee County at its epicenter, has a shallow water table perilously close to shale rock that would be fracked, as compared to most out-of-state, high-frack areas. Also, with geological, seismic faults naturally occurring in this area, next door to a nuclear power plant, do we need to run the risk of earthquakes from fracking, disrupting life as we have enjoyed it for decades, for the short-term financial gain of some and the sweet political accommodations of others? I do not think so.
Again, bear in mind that fracking is highly suspect to many seismologists as causative in earthquakes in areas where the practice is unleashed. Meanwhile, North Carolina’s legislatively driven fever to frack, and to hurry and frack now, is curiously out of step, it seems to me — with so much popular sentiment against it as we have heard or read about. Is state government out of control on this issue, listening too much to oil and gas lobbyists and large land owners in the Triassic Basin? This is possible.
Did you know that it can take up to 5.3 million gallons of water to frack just one well? With more than 100 well sites that could be fracked in Lee County, you do the math. One can see how our increasingly drought-prone and limited fresh water supply in central North Carolina could be at risk of depletion and/or ruination. Can we run such risks? I do not believe so.
Finally, I am concerned about the uncharacteristic strong-arm, controlling, top-down state government handling of this entire matter, i.e. the Republican-controlled General Assembly and governor. They appear eager to expedite and grease the way through (or around if necessary) the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission chaired by Lee County Commissioner Jim Womack, an avowed proponent of shale gas fracking along with other fracking proponents on this 15 member commission, including Lee County-born Ray Covington, a large landowner in the county’s shale gas frack zone.
Does this make anyone who believes in fair and impartial consideration of the pros and cons of fracking in North Carolina just a wee bit uneasy? I believe that it does.
Fracking has everything to do with shale gas exploration, gas production and the resulting wealth development. New jobs, welcome any time but especially now in today’s continuing depressed economy, may be but a canard where investigation can show that most of the higher-paying jobs are imported for the short term. When the gas runs out and/or the market turns sour, who do you imagine will be left holding the proverbial bag of unmet financial promises and costly repairs? It will be local taxpayers picking up the pieces of a once rustic, bucolic landscape and environment marred by the gas industry.
I am encouraged, hopeful and believe that the ordinary citizens of Lee County, who will inevitably pay the cleanup bill, will size up this situation and get out in front of the trucks, tractors, pipes, pumps and concrete pads otherwise headed this way. Enough ordinary citizens will understand the risks and possible long-term costs to our infrastructure to take a firm public stand on a continuing basis to send the kind of message that “gas and oil” and their minions will respect and understand — which is that we’d just as soon they take their fracking business and go! It can be done!
Editor’s note: Richard Hayes, born on Gulf Street in Sanford, graduated from Sanford Central High in 1956; finished UNC-Chapel Hill with a BSBA in 1960 and worked at Duke University, where he also earned a M.Ed in 1975. After a 40-year career in University Advancement and Public Programs at Duke, the University of California at San Francisco, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and serving a dozen years as senior executive vice president of a consulting firm in Chicago, Hayes retired and was elected to the Lee County Board of Education from 2000-2004 — serving as vice chairman for two years. He was elected to the Lee County Board of Commissioners  from 2008-2012, serving as Chairman from 2008-2010. While a Commissioner, Hayes was appointed a member of board of directors of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners from 2011-2012, was a appointed a member of the Lee County Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors from 2008-2010 and served as an appointed member of the Lee County Environmental Affairs Board from 2010-2012.

JIM Womack used an alias  James Madison to defend fracking and Belittle Mr. Hayes ...

Imagine that; a former Chairman of the Lee Board of Commissioners advocates anarchy and lawbreaking through physical interference with a legitimate (and highly regulated) industry. Isn't this taking the law into your own hands, Mr. Hayes? I don't believe even the Tea Party would advocate this kind of destructive behavior. I guess that's the way it works with liberals and progressives: If they can't force their values on an unwilling populace, they advocate lawlessness. Did you learn that value system at UNC, or was it acquired from your many years in Chicago?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Letters to the Editor about fracking via Our Sanford Herald

Lee County is going to be hit with as the main BOOM town of NC . IF we let it .
But many of us are speaking out against fracking even though our a few of our county commissioners does Not approve of us doing it ?
Thanks to "The Sanford Herald , we have a voice ! Lately those voices are coming more and stronger . Along with it comes really degrading comments from NC's biggest PROFRACKER
Jim Womack aka county commiss aka MEC chairman . Oh and let's not forget his trusty side kick / county commiss Kirk Smith .
They have a few helpers , like a fellow named Townsend too that would argue with himself to get attention .
I am adding just a few examples of their comments below. It is hard not to put all their comments in RED since that is the color I see after reading .
 The Herald also has a News link there for Mining & Energy

Some of the Letters to the Editor in the Sanford Herald .

Robert O. Stone ,NC  1/22/2014

Our water is too precious to risk 1/15/14
As we prepare for another Mining and Energy Commission meeting ..., Commissioner Womack reveals the fundamental reasoning why we shouldn’t allow this dangerous form of drilling into our state: fracking causes contamination. While the commissioner tries to downplay this risk, stating that these “events” are few and far between, he fails to mention the scale at which groundwater contamination has wreaked havoc on communities across the country from Pennsylvania to New Mexico. Additionally, a Duke study released last year showed increased well water contamination near fracking sites.
He states that the companies have “cleaned up and provided fresh water” for affected communities; however, what he conveniently omits is that the drinking water sources for these communities are contaminated forever. Families are forced to drink water, wash their clothes, bathe and brush their teeth from water that has been trucked in because of this contamination.
Chairman Womack and his oil and gas buddies want us to believe that there is little risk and much reward in fracking North Carolina. Mr. Womack, I would argue that places like the Deep River and Jordan Lake are too precious to risk, and there is little reward in jeopardizing the drinking water for millions of North Carolinians.
Liz Kazal
Womack even more rude than usual ... to me and others there .
my comment ...As an Anti-frack person , I spend Much time on the internet trying to collect facts . It is hard since most Antifrack information is Not funded by big $$ corps as O&G . But I believe that is what Jay referred to 'He could be forgiven if he wasn't using **the internet** ' To save you time on searching try FrackFreeNC .org . Terica
Terica, I know you mean well. But these sites you read and refer people to are about as authoritative as ; ; and . As a rule, I try to refer citizens to authoritative, peer-reviewed, science-based sites that practice journalistic integrity. Here's one study performed by a renowned climate change Professor from UC Berkeley. I recommend it highly:
By the way, much of the anti-drilling movement is very well funded by the likes of the Park Foundation, billionaire George Soros, and Hollywood celebrities - all of whom consume enormous quantities of hydrocarbons belching out their disinformation. Just sayin'

next .. someone asked for a LIST of claims of Harm from fracking ? So this was my second comment .
List of the Harmed , has many Named events.  . Terica
Womack's reply to me ...
Sorry Terica. That is a bogus site containing mostly frivilous claims of harm. Some of the cross-links at the site do not even lead to an actual report of wrongdoing. Of the reports that do, there are only rhetorical or asserted claims of harm, not confirmation by a bonafide health or safety official. Your reference to this site reminds me of the young lady in the State Farm commercial who claims, "They can't put anything on the internet that isn't true."

Jan. 09, 2014

Nov. 12, 2013 … "Since taking control of the Lee BOC and the House 51 seat, the GOP has shown its colors. Its officials have talked down to voters on the issue of fracking [and] bullied elected local boards ... and meddled in local elections." 
Jay Calendine , Lee County

Nov 9,2013

Oct 2013 … by Keely Wood . Commissioner Kirk Smith gets rude .
To the Editor:
I recently attended the Chamber of Commerce meeting. I was so pleased to hear how the business leaders are going to try to make Sanford a destination point, with added sidewalks, parks, a water park and a better shopping experience. I immediately thought of Newtown Square in Pennsylvania — a quaint bed-and-bath location.
I know that money won’t be well spent when fracking invades our county.
Mr. [Jim] Womack [chairman, N.C. Mining & Energy Commission] doesn’t want to share with you the social costs of fracking — his reply is, “ I won’t lie to you, there are always growing pains.” The fact is fracking impacts rural communities with a decline in quality of life and an increase of stress on the social network.
Food & Watch Case Study was a thorough Pennsylvania community report published in September of 2013. The report shows the average annual increase in disorderly conduct arrests were three times higher in heavily fracked rural counties. The large influx of transient fracking workers can lead to higher levels of substance abuse and alcohol-related crimes .
Sexually transmitted infections rose fastest in rural Pennsylvania counties where fracking began — 62 percent more than the unfracked counties.
The average annual number of heavy truck crashes increased 7.2 percent in fracked counties. Each fracking well requires thousands of truck trips to deliver hazardous fracking fluids and materials, adding to costly wear and tear on rural roads. ...
These are all facts based on a variety of resources, including Pennsylvania DOT, Pennsylvania State Police Database, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
A question was asked at the commerce meeting “ How will Sanford change?” To get a real inside view, just Google “Life in a fracking boomtown: Man camps, Meth Labs, Strippers, and the gold rush.”
Keely Wood
Lee County
from Kirk ....Ms. Wood, we already have criminal alien camps (single family homes with multiple residents - notice the numerous cars in the yard), drugs, prostitutes, drug smugglers, and human trafficking! The horrors of drilling you tout clearly provoke fear and we can avoid these if done properly.
We in eastern Lee County just experienced an "evil" gas company placing a gas line along NC-42 and cutting across access to our property. They went out of their way to ensure we had access to our driveway, replanted the grass, replaced the mail box (well my wife says it is 6" higher) and restored our driveway entrance. I know that in the future we will be blessed with an industry that will do the same.
Not the horrors that a group of tree hugging, earth worshiping, human hating, green people keep ranting. Veritas vos Liberabit!

Oct 2013 LETTER: Fracking brings problems for many, prosperity to few by Judy Hogan

Oct 15 ,2013 LETTER: No means no by Ed Harris /Sanford … Kirk Smith leaves rude comments
If we, the people of North Carolina, allow our employees, The N.C Mining and Energy Commission, The N.C Department of Energy and Natural Resources and the N.C Legislature, to continue on the path they are on with S.B. 820, S.B.76 and H.B.8, the state will own all property in North Carolina. You may buy property, pay taxes on property, improve property and create a home and lifestyle on property, but the state can at any time give your property rights to an industry that wants it for any reason.
An industry can come onto your land, cut down 200-year-old forests, destroy fields, pastures, your peace and quiet, and you have no say in the destruction of your property and lifestyle. Of course, “they” say that you will be compensated for loss or damages. “They” say that the land will be restored to its original condition. Really? How do you restore/replace 100-200 year old trees? How do you compensate someone for the loss of 100-200 year old hardwood forest and the habitat that it provides? How do you replace a good water well that is contaminated? A stream/creek? A river? Your farm pond? Pastureland?
“They” say that it cannot, will not happen. I don't believe “them.” I think that “they” are working for the gas industry. ... To see the devastation that fracking has wrought on communities across the country, the health and environmental problems, you only have to type “anti-fracking “ into your search engine, hit enter and follow the leads.
If we do not stand our ground, the people who are supposed to be protecting our interests (our employees) are going to give the gas industry, and any other industry that wants it, our property rights. They need to be made to understand that no means no. We, the people, reserve the right of refusal.
W. Ed Jr. & Doris C. Harris
Mr. Harris when you had your pig farm, did you provide environmentally friendly service to your neighbors? When you had the chickens, did you provide environmentally friendly protection for your neighbors? Mr. Harris do you admit to being a good neighbor, when you threaten their dogs life? My word, your rantings are getting more extreme by the day. It is enjoyable to read as we all need a good laugh!

OCT 16 ,2013 LETTER: Where is the outrage?  Sharon Reinders , Sanford

Feb 9, 2013 with Ed Harris , Womack rude comments

Womack argues with folks at several papers ...
 OCT 30 , 2013 From NPR …Shale Gas & Hydraulic Fracturing In North Carolina … Womack comments several times .

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

Trade Secrets and Fracking Chemicals, Nov-Dec MEC Meetings

Happy 2014 .Once again we have some wonderful notes to share from Diana . I so appreciate all her hard work in putting this together .  
I have highlighted some things that scare me and intend to watch closely.
These notes combine the Mining & Energy Commission meetings of Nov. 21-22 and Dec. 5-6, 2013
Chair, James Womack (Lee County Commissioner).  Members absent:  Nov. Charles Taylor (City of Sanford); Dec. George Howard
Trade Secrets and Chemical (non)disclosure “might” become separate rules in January: Who determines Trade Secret?  Who keeps it?  Any public right to know?; Rules Committee takes up Wastewater Management rules on testing, reuse, and final disposal options;  Rules adopted for Closure of Oil and Gas Wells when a well fails or is abandoned; Setbacks determined from houses (500-ft.), surface waters (100-ft.), wells (500-ft.), and more.
1.  Trade Secrets, Jim Womack 
Womack is insistent that Trade Secrets rule should be separate from Chemical Disclosure rule; others members not so sure.  Would need extensive cross-referencing between the two rules. NC should “allow” Trade Secrets to be claimed in areas of technology, seismic exploration, and some of the fracking chemicals. Womack expects to have his Trade Secrets rule drafted by end of December [Nothing posted on website as of Jan 2, 2014].
(a) Who will determine if “claim” is really a Trade Secret?  DENR [or MEC if Legislature grants that authority] could review request with qualified panel of experts, then approve/disapprove application and keep no records. Permittee will have to sign an affidavit that this information is NOT in public domain or under patent; the company has and follows their own internal trade secret process; the company must notify DENR if “trade secret” enters the public domain; the chemical must NOT be on the list of regulated chemicals in the Safe Drinking Water Act (also includes concentrations); and company must sign a statement that it conforms to conditions for seeking protection as established by NC General Statute 66-152.  Jane Lewis-Raymond said load the “Trade Secret” requirements at the front-end so companies don’t want to “claim” a Trade Secret…they get to make that decision.  Charles Holbrook said if a company has a concoction that is working well in another state, won’t this encourage more wildcatters, rather than entice the new technology innovator?  Vik Rao said companies will be willing to show how they protect trade secrets within their company, so it is fair to both parties.
(b) Who will “keep” Trade Secret chemical compositions of frack fluid for emergency access? Although the Dept. of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR) keeps other Trade Secrets, they specifically WILL NOT take these.  [Is this an attempt to distance Governor McCrory and DENR from public outrage when future spills, leaks, or other contamination occurs?] To work around this curious DENR refusal, options include an escrow repository, or a “lock box” managed by an outside IT entity to hold the Trade Secrets. Discussions about the “lock box” approach would require permittee to pay this IT company to keep records for life of well (or longer), respond to legitimate requests for access, and unlock information when compound or process loses its Trade Secret status.  Vic Rao said “lock box” gives public assurance that even if company goes out of business, the Trade Secret chemical compositions remain accessible, and could be available for either an emergency response or court order.  Amy Pickle says rule needs to spell out entire procedure for DENR review of Trade Secret; how DENR can access the lock box and the criteria for access; and criteria to provide this info to health care professionals and courts.  Marva Price said electronic lockbox may have retrieval problems in future, changes in technology. 
(c) Does public have any right to know Not much. Jane Lewis-Raymond said can’t presuppose what could harm the public; even new technologies might seek Trade Secret protection.  In November two members of Womack’s Trade Secret Study Group, Dr. David Levine, Elon College, and Tyler Mulligan, School of Government, said that existing regulations are adequate and Public Records law do not “require” public disclosure of trade secrets.  Question remains as to whether a “special” exemption is needed for this industry’s trade secrets.  Rule states Business Court as jurisdictional remedy.  However, as Therese Vick stated in public input, after an accident the injured party would have to hire an attorney and pay the $1,000 Business Court filing fee, and might not have standing in court. Therefore, tough for public to challenge, and this also gives special treatment to Oil & Gas industry. 
[See DENR white paper: “Protection of Trade Secrets & Proprietary Information”:
2.  Chemical Disclosure; Jim Womack 
In December, Womack presented a reorganization/rewrite of the rule formerly written and passed by Howard’s Environmental Standards Committee.  Womack reorganized subsections, added and tightened some definitions, made deletions, refined the required “disclosures” and what is not required to be disclosed, trade secrets protection, among other changes.  This was first time MEC members saw Womack’s version.  George Howard and Amy Pickle have been asked to work together to rewrite rule, incorporating Womack’s stuff, after discussion that Womack wanted to limit to 30-minutes.  Womack again stressed he wants separate “Trade Secret” rule and for DENR to not take ownership of these secrets.  In November, George Howard said the bone of contention is that the earlier version of the rule, drafted by his committee, required that the CAS (Chemical Abstract Number) on all Trade Secret chemicals would be available to DENR in a disaster [DENR refuses this responsibility].  Amy Pickle said the rule limits public challenge...the public may or may not have the expertise, and this is not the same thing as “having the right” to the information.  Womack said the industry has not lost a case regarding trade secret chemicals [surprise!] because they have deep pockets and public is at a disadvantage.

3.  Water and Waste Management Committee; Chair, Dr. Vikram Rao  
Wastewater Management rules included discussion of production waters and testing of specific chemicals in flowback waters that is kept onsite.  Monitoring wells were removed from rule draft.  Committee requires a test of “what” is in the flowback before it is disposed of offsite.  Rao prefers reverse osmosis treatment on site, then concentrated residual can either be (a) reused for same fracking purpose, or (b) treated and removed to another water treatment site for further processing [if it exists], or (c) permitted for transportation to another state [deep well injection].  Stakeholders had excellent input.   Both pits and closed loop systems would be OK in NC to encourage reuse of water for multiple fracks at well pad.  Womack had been to PA’s Marcellus shale region (14,060 wells).  Said they pump water from the Susquehanna River and build water pits at a higher elevation than the watershed to create a central reservoir.  He said he was shocked at the amount of water pipeline he saw...they try to bury it.  Rao said PA uses surface water only and does not recycle water.  NC might encourage well operators to share a water supply and reuse water.  Ken Taylor said if they create a central “water supply reservoir” in NC, need to get dam permits, and might need interbasin transfer permit, too.  Holbrook mentioned that a freshwater pit liner is not the same as a process water pit liner, which must protect groundwater.  Rao said there are wildlife animal protection provisions in the rule.  
Wastewater Management rule set (19-pages) submitted to Rules Committee for January review.
4.  Oil and Gas Administration Committee; Chair, Charles Holbrook
Requirements for Closure of Oil & Gas Wells rule set was discussed and approved by MEC in November.  The three classes of well closure and rules for each include “Permanent” (well cannot be operated and is not capable of producing gas; “Shut-in Status” (shut-in pending future development, like infrastructure, or operator completing multiple wells); and “Temporary abandonment(operator wants to come back and re-enter hole, and waiting period prior to production could be short).
Well Spacing Standards were finalized for submission to Rules Committee for January review. 
Staff is creating first draft of Site Construction Standards for January discussion.
Coordinated Permit” work continues under Dr. Ken Taylor, which will get at the proper sequencing of when each part happens in the process.  “Permitting” rules have gaps until other rules, such as chemical disclosure, etc., are written.   Drafts of rules will remain on website as they move through the process. 
Regarding local government permits:  Womack said part of state coordinated permitting must also be addressed by local governments for code enforcement, so permissions must be granted, but should be complimentary to State.  Amy Pickle said MEC does NOT have the authority to address land use restrictions in local government arena.  Womack said “we” would be blocking local economic development since local health departments can shut this industry down for health and safety risks...therefore the Legislature is not willing to “stop activity” because of local government powers, except for health and safety.  Hmmmm.
            Requirements for Closure of Oil & Gas Wells rule set was adopted in November 2013 by the MEC.               
5.  Environmental Standards Committee; Chair, George Howard 
Howard not in attendance for Dec meeting.  Setback Rules were moved to Rules Committee in Nov.  The principal setbacks are as follows: Measured from center of wellhead or production facility, tank, or tank battery and/or edge of pit closest to these features:
    500-ft. from occupied dwelling and high occupancy buildings
    100-ft. from edge of public road, highway, utility, railroad right-of-way
    100-ft. from stream, river, watercourse, pond, lake
    300-ft. from wetland and trout streams
    500-ft. from water well for human consumption or household
    100-ft. from edge of mapped 100-year floodplain and floodway
    New pits, tanks, tank batteries shall not be within 75 feet of oil/gas wellhead
    Tanks or tank batteries shall not be within five feet of another tank
    Compressors and mechanical separators shall not be within 5-ft. of oil and gas wellhead; 75-ft. of tank, and 500-ft. of occupied dwelling
Allows for variances, but still no authority in MEC to do this.  Womack: Need quick decisions on variances, perhaps DENR could grant.   
6.  Rules Committee; chair, Amy Pickle
Requirements for Closure of Oil & Gas Wells moved to MEC for December discussion. 
Setback rules moved to MEC in December, but discussion postponed since George Howard was absent.
Diana Hales, retired

Human Health, Exposure from the Development of Shale Gas Plays

This is long but worth watching and sharing