Friday, February 5, 2010

EPA invites citizens to keep ‘Eyes on Drilling’

The US Environmental Protection Agency has created a toll-free tip-line for citizens to report non-emergency suspicious activity related to oil and gas development. Called “Eyes on Drilling,” the number for the tip-line, which EPA’s Philadelphia regional office announced on Jan. 27, is (877) 919-4EPA. Tips may be provided anonymously, it added.

The agency, which also is accepting tips by e-mail at, said it will accept information from people who observe what appears to be disposal or wastes or other illegal activity. “While EPA doesn’t grant permits for oil and gas drilling operations, there are EPA regulations which may apply to the storage of petroleum products and drilling fluids. The agency is also very concerned about the proper disposal of waste products, and protecting air and water resources,” it continued.

The notice said that EPA wants to better understand what people are experiencing and observing as a result of oil and gas drilling activities. The information collected may also be useful in investigating industry practices, it indicated. The tips should include the location, time, and date of such activity, as well as materials, equipment, and vehicles involved, and any observable environmental impacts.

EPA’s regional office in Philadelphia clearly issued the notice because of growing interest in the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. Production of gas from it will require hydraulic fracturing, which it said results in 20-30% of the fluid used flowing back to the surface with produced brines which contained dissolved materials from the formation, it said in the notice.

“Operators are urged to recycle their flowback water for reuse in the fraccing process, but some of the flowback is taken offsite for disposal,” it continued. “Chemicals used in the process are often stored on-site. Spills can occur when utilizing these chemicals or when transporting or storing wastewater, which can result in the contamination of surface water or ground water, which is used for many purposes including drinking water.”

The service adds another government element to an already complicated situation as Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and West Virginians try to grapple with potentially heavy gas production in areas which have no experience with it. It won’t be surprising if opponents use it to cause trouble. But it also will be there in case actual landowners and nearby residents see genuine problems.


Blogger Rancher5 said...

That is all the industry needs
is a bunch of unqualified general public calling in to the EPA everything they deem bad or not very pretty. This is just not about Oil or Natural Gas but the continual attack of US industries and job creators in the US. Biggest job killer 25% budget increase the EPA
received last year.We can only hope that Washington becomes more friendly and Encourage our own USA Oil and Natural Gas production. I don't have much faith in this administration though so it could be a messed up ride.

February 8, 2010 at 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is another step toward what happened in Russia, China, & all of the Eastern Block! The present administration is the nearest to Stalin this country has ever seen & we have three years to go!

February 10, 2010 at 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need a 1-800-Rat on Government Waste hotline. It would be far better for America than "muzzling another productive Ox"

February 10, 2010 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous vjmcd95 said...

This is another example of the Democratic governments's abuse of the EPA. The average citizen from a non-hydrocarbon producing state has no idea what are normal oil and gas exploration/production operations. This is simply "big-brother" spying on us. We already have a bunch of ignorant activists and ratings hungry media who do no good whatsoever.

February 10, 2010 at 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Harry C. Johnson said...

Every one of the hundreds of thousands of oil and gas company employees, stockholders, and royalty owners should flood the EPA with enough trivial "reports" to keep the entire department of morons busy for the foreseeable future checking out these reports. Isn't it amazing how fast stupidity at the top trickles down to the dimmest bulb in the bureaucracy ?

February 10, 2010 at 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess with the EPA and the new interior secretary, we will be lucky if we have any oil industry left.

Maybe the government should just buy up all the companies and we can all work for the indiots

February 11, 2010 at 8:56 PM  

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