What the frack is going on?

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, December 17th, 2013 - 36 comments
Categories: Environment - Tags:

no-frackingRadio New Zealand reports:

Taranaki Regional Council insists it’s following international best practice in allowing fracking waste to be disposed of on farmland, even though the Canadian province it’s modelling itself on doesn’t allow such waste on agricultural land.

Fracking is the mining process that involves high-pressure injection of water and a cocktail of chemicals far below the earth’s surface to access oil and gas.

The regional council says it bases its controversial practice of putting the waste on farmland – an operation known as land-farming – on what Alberta is doing.

But the Alberta Energy Regulator has told Radio New Zealand it does not allow fracking waste to be applied to farmland and insists it be disposed of in industrial waste facilities.

It says fracking waste, as opposed to waste from traditional drilling operations, is not suitable for agricultural land.

Presuming the report is correct this is deeply concerning.  Because we could be putting our largest export industry at risk and our clean and green image is under further attack.

A variety of Government Departments and agencies were invited to comment on the issue on Nine to Noon this morning but none were available …

36 comments on “What the frack is going on?”

  1. greywarbler 1

    There were earlier comments on the fracking that went into NRT post.
    This morning on Radionz Kathryn Ryan interviewed independent expert Edmeads? Everything was fine that he found in his samples. Except that Greens Gareth Hughes said he sampled a postage stamp (me/sarc) and examples given to Hughes of problems indicated that was not the case. So even one example like that would have negated a finding of 100% satisfactory. So how come the anecdotal information wasn’t attended to first?
    No one else but the expert and Hughes would be interviewed. Three monkey stuff?

    • Macro 1.1

      Ryan’s interview of the “expert” was particularly useless.. No questioning of his research methodology or anything – just taking his word that all was ok. Useless!
      No questioning as to why Alberta has restricted the disposal of this crap…
      Nothing…
      Like a whitewash over a crappy job.

  2. aerobubble 2

    Fracking fluids? Not same as petroleum waste water? Hard to tell.

    So, you’ve just been hired CEO of a mining company, you need to get rid of losts of waste…

    …hire a guy to test land that’s had dump only the most lightly contaminated waste, maybe even the waste hydrocarbons have come from a refinery, so don’t measure the amount dumped, don’t measure the soil before dumping, but add to that, don’t test for toxic chemicals or arsenic, or all the nastiness in raw crude. Don’t take many at all samples either. Now give the green light to dumping toxic waste on land, sandy soil no less, like there would be any previous indication of leaching. I mean sand! Its so uniform preciously because its so temporary and porous.

    Sorry, but that’s not science. Don’t measure inputs, outputs, or measure stuff that would be there if they dumped the most toxic waste, I mean Canada has serious bureaucracy managing the waste and you think you can just dump it on a sand soil someplace? Oh, please your fired for bad publicity.

  3. joe90 3

    Charming.
    /

    In addition to friction reducers, other additives include: biocides to prevent microorganism growth and to reduce biofouling of the fractures; oxygen scavengers and other stabilizers to prevent corrosion of metal pipes; and acids that are used to remove drilling mud damage within the near-wellbore area [4].

    http://geology.com/energy/hydraulic-fracturing-fluids/

  4. Tracey 4

    The trc chair has said its an operational issue not a governance issue. I wonder if the ceo will be allowed to comment.

  5. weka 5

    “Presuming the report is correct this is deeply concerning. Because we could be putting our largest export industry at risk and our clean and green image is under further attack.”

    Sorry micky, but fuck industrial dairying and fuck our clean green image (both of which are extremely ecologicially damaging). The reason we’re in this situation is because the narrative has been shifted so far west that now our prime reasons for looking after the environment are economic. It doesn’t work* because it sees the environment as a resource there to serve our needs rather than being the very susbstance we need to survive and thrive.

    *or, it would work if we truly applied rationality to economics.

  6. vto 6

    This would have to be the single most unsustainable use of land ever…..

    “an operation known as land-farming ”

    No

    an operation known as land-consumption

    eating it so nobody else can use it again.

    unbelievable

    • weka 6.1

      +1000

      and the sleepy little hobbits just carry on gardening and thinking she’ll be right.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Land-farming is a well-known and standard way to deal with the waste from regular gas drilling exercises.

      Sure, sounds terrible on the face of it, but they wouldn’t be doing it if it was a problem.

      What is really at stake here is that for some reason Taranaki is using the same process for fracking waste, which is apparently not safe.

      • vto 6.2.1

        “… but they wouldn’t be doing it if it was a problem…”

        why on earth would this be so? Never stopped humanity before..

  7. adam 7

    I’m not surprised, this is nuts leading the brain dead. Our image of green is gone – like the wind. Our resources are the corporations play things – and they just don’t give a rats. Were is the green rebel alliance, were are the x-wings paint bombing the hell out of council building? Come on folks, really, when is enough, enough?

  8. philj 8

    It’s enough to put you off your ice cream and Democratic(?) government. Amazing how everything is connected. I. e. fracking and ice cream. The black and white economy of Taranaki is turning to a peculiar shade of brown.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Let’s see these firms publish the actual ingredients put into the ‘fracking fluids’ used to destroy the deep geologic formations in the fracking process.

    • uke 10.1

      Ok – presumably if you don’t want your family or friends (or anyone) to consume food produced on farms that practice “land farming”, best go organic.

      Have just emailed Common Sense Organics whether any of their suppliers “land farm” and will post their reply.

      • uke 10.1.1

        The reply:

        “Thank you for your query regarding our vegetables and whether the organic standards would allow mining waste. We have checked with BioGro, the major organic certifier, and the answer is ‘Definitely Not!’”

  10. toad 11

    Coincidentally, this research study into the endocrine disruptive effects of chemicals used in fracking was published just yesterday:

    http://endo.endojournals.org/content/early/2013/12/16/en.2013-1697.abstract?rss=1

    (Sorry, full article behind a paywall)

  11. tricledrown 12

    Seryaliarandfraudster.
    Come on facts and figures
    Please .Fiction doesn’t count.

  12. Truth lies 13

    The locals have concerns that the regional council is listening more the the sexy whisper of the corporate dollar rather than the people. Sounds like a classic case of not reading the whole report! Heads should roll.

  13. swordfish 14

    Alberta is by far the most right-wing, neo-liberal and socially-conservative province in Canada. And yet, EVEN THEY follow a far more enlightened policy on fracking waste-disposal than dear old Taranaki. Dear oh dear !

  14. Arandar 15

    Tonight RNZ says Taranaki Regional Council has announced there will be no more disposing of fracking waste on the land farms. Apparently once again they have decided to follow the ‘Best Practises’ of Alberta.
    Interesting what shining a little light into the dark corners can reveal. Just as well someone finally thought to ask Alberta what they actually do eh?

  15. Philj 16

    Thanks so much. This information gives me hope.

  16. aerobubble 17

    Pike River Coal Mine was state of the art, guessing that’s mining industry speak for best practice.

  17. RedLogix 18

    I was amused to note that a noticeable fraction of the hilarity focused on the use of “frack” as a swear word. No, it wasn’t a Battlestar Galactica reference; those who are familiar with fracking—that is, hydrofracturing technology, the latest popular excuse for ignoring the narrowing walls of industrial society’s increasingly harsh destiny—will understand the usage at once.

    Since fracking is a penetrative act carried out with no thought for anything but immediate gratification, it certainly counts as a profanity, and I’d like to encourage my readers to use it in everyday conversation whenever strong language is called for. For that matter, a good case can be made that those who think it’s appropriate to treat Mother Earth that way deserve to be called “motherfrackers.”

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/great-man-is-dead.html

  18. greywarbler 19

    RL
    💡

  19. yeshe 20

    Fracking companies entitled to licences on more than 60% of British land

    Assessment finds major fracking effort would create jobs and income for local communities, but require thousands of wells to be drilled and dozens of daily tanker journeys

    Guardian this morning …..

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/17/fracking-huge-impact-uk-shale-gas-industry-revealed

  20. joe90 21

    Nice.

    An analysis of water samples from hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ sites found the presence of hormone-disrupting chemicals, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Endocrinology.
    “With fracking on the rise, populations may face greater health risks from increased endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure,” senior author Susan Nagel told The LA Times.
    The study tested surface water and groundwater samples in Garfield County, Colorado — one county at the center of the U.S. fracking boom — and found elevated levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs. The chemicals have been linked to infertility, birth defects, and cancer.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/17/3073851/chemicals-fracking-water/

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