Fresh Water Wells Exposed To Millions Of Gallons Of Toxic Compounds
il and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to a Congressional investigation.
The chemicals were used by companies during a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or "Fracking," which involves the high-pressure injection of a mixture of water, sand and chemical additives into rock formations deep underground. The process, which is being used to tap into large reserves of natural gas around the country, opens fissures in the rock to stimulate the release of oil and gas.
Hydrofracking has attracted increased scrutiny from lawmakers and environmentalists in part because of fears that the chemicals used during the process can contaminate underground sources of drinking water.
"Questions about the safety of hydraulic fracturing persist, which are compounded by the secrecy surrounding the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids," said the Congressional report.
The report, released late Saturday, also faulted companies for at times "injecting fluids containing chemicals that they themselves cannot identify."
The inquiry over hydrofracking, also found that 14 of the nation's most active hydraulic fracturing companies used 866 million gallons of hydraulic fracturing products — not including water. More than 650 of these products contained chemicals that are known as possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or are listed as hazardous air pollutants, the report said.
Some ingredients mixed into the hydraulic fracturing fluids were common and generally harmless, like salt and citric acid. Others were unexpected, like instant coffee and walnut hulls, the report said. Many ingredients were "extremely toxic," including benzene, a known human carcinogen, and lead.
Companies injected large amounts of other hazardous chemicals, including 11.4 million gallons of fluids containing at least one of the toxic or carcinogenic B.T.E.X. chemicals — benzene, toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene. The companies used the highest volume of fluids containing one or more carcinogens in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.
These contaminants also remain in the fluid that returns to the surface after a well is hydrofracked. A recent investigation by The New York Times found high levels of contaminants, including benzene and radioactive materials, in wastewater that is being sent to treatment plants not designed to fully treat the waste before it is discharged into rivers. At one plant in Pennsylvania, EPA documents revealed levels of benzene roughly 28 times the federal drinking water standard in wastewater as it was discharged, after treatment, into the Allegheny River in May 2008.
Some companies are moving toward more disclosure, and the industry will soon start a public database of these chemicals. But the Congressional report said that reporting to this database is strictly voluntary, that disclosure will not include the chemical identity of products labeled as proprietary, and that there is no way to determine if companies are accurately reporting information for all wells.
Editor's Note: The vivid descriptions in Revelation which detail the poisoning and pollution of fresh water during the end times of the world sometimes confuse people because of the supernatural imagery utilized. Setting aside the prophetic metaphor of angels blowing trumpets announcing the pouring of poison into the water supply for a moment, the end result is the same:
"...and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter." -- Revelation 8:11
While conservatives accurately tend to view the green movement as leftist, the fact is, good stewardship should be outside the dialectical nonsense of the right/left paradigm. The following Scripture, describing the ultimate reckoning when God judges every person, makes no distinction concerning partisan politics:
"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou should give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth." -- Revelation 11:18
For more on how Revelation's trumpet judgments as mentioned above actually contain coded allegory describing the events at the final turning point in world history, listen to the short audio on THE TRUMPET JUDGMENTS UNVEILED.
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