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Regulators Under Fire for Keeping Fracking Pollution Test Results Under Wraps

Environment  (tags: climate-change, climatechange, CO2emissions, destruction, ecosystems, environment, FRACKING, globalwarming, habitatdestruction, healthconditions, humans, nature, politics, pollution, protection, research, science, Sustainabililty )

- 1991 days ago -
Residents living in the shadow of fracking rigs say they've suffered from headaches, nosebleeds and other health effects since drilling began in their communities. Meanwhile, state agencies refuse to release the results of air and water pollution tests.

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Kit B (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 2:54 pm
(Photo Credit:

"Residents living in the shadow of fracking rigs say they've suffered from headaches, nosebleeds and other health effects since drilling began in their communities. Meanwhile, state agencies refuse to release the results of air and water pollution tests."

Thirty years ago, Jenny and Tom Lisak moved into a historic farmhouse in Pennsylvania's rural Jefferson County. The couple raised three children there and established a certified organic farm they named LadyBug Farm.

"When living in the country, your time is marked by nature and each season comes with its own smells, sounds and colors," Jenny Lisak recently told environmental researchers. "But those colors have faded and our wellbeing, livelihood and dreams are now threatened."

The trouble started when the oil and gas boom hit Jefferson County and rolled into the Lisak's neighborhood. First came the trucks carrying equipment and supplies in a stream of constant traffic; then oil and gas wells were drilled near LadyBug farm.

The Lisaks say they experienced frequent headaches, fatigue sore throats and eye and nose irritation. After the state issued a permit for an open-air impound pit to store drilling waste next to LadyBug Farm, the family has had trouble sleeping and experienced stress and anxiety.

Facilitated by enhanced drilling techniques known as "fracking," an ongoing oil and gas rush is rapidly industrializing rural Pennsylvania and neighboring states. Since 2005, 20,000 conventional wells and 5,700 "unconventional" wells, which employ controversial new fracking techniques, have been established in Pennsylvania.

The boom has generated big profits and boosted domestic fossil fuel production, but a growing list of environmental and health concerns have made fracking one of the nation's top environmental controversies.

The boom hit Pennsylvania hard and early, and now people like the Lisaks have health problems they say were nonexistent before the frackers arrived.

Scientists are only beginning to uncover the relationship between reported health problems and fracking, and environmentalists claim the industry and state government have refused to consider the issue.

Pennsylvania lawmakers recently stripped $2 million in funding that had been earmarked for researching and tracking drilling-related health problems from landmark oil and gas legislation. The state's environmental protection agency recently has come under fire from residents and a state lawmaker who say the agency is hiding air quality monitoring data from the public and failing to provide complete lab results to residents who fear that fracking has contaminated their drinking water.

Fracking Air Pollution Linked to Health Problems

A recent, in-depth survey by the environmental group Earthworks found that contaminants are present in the communities near fracking operations, and many residents have developed health problems they did not have before. The most commonly reported symptoms include tremors, dizziness and irritation of the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. These symptoms correlate to chemicals used in fracking, like benzene and volatile organic compounds, and suggest a "strong possibility" that oil and gas drilling is causing health problems, according the report.

Residents living closer to drilling operations reported health symptoms at higher rates. The survey found that 56 percent of children living within 1,500 feet of facilities reported nosebleeds. On average, children surveyed reported an average of 19 health symptoms that are not normally found in healthy kids.

In addition, 80 percent of respondents said they "sometimes" or "frequently" smelled bad odors.

"I strongly object to being forced to breathe toxic fumes and other unhealthy conditions, and to my family facing the possibility of one day becoming refugees from our own home," said Lisak, who participated in the survey.

Earthworks contends the findings raise serious questions about statements made by the fracking industry and its supporters. The industry is known for dismissing health impact claims as "personal anecdotes," and people living near drilling operations often are told that their health problems are likely due to other factors like lifestyle choices and family disease history, according to the report.

Regulators Accused of Hiding Test Results From the Public

On May 25, the Cornerstone Care community clinic in Pennsylvania's Washington County was temporarily shut down after being evacuated three times. Gusts of fumes had invaded the clinic for weeks, filling the building with nauseating odors and making patients and health care workers sick. The clinic remained closed until early July.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) investigated the odors at the clinic and determined that the fumes could not be linked to oil and gas drilling; but the agency has refused to hand over 400 pages of raw testing and quality control data to a concerned lawmaker.

State Rep. Jesse White, a Washington County Democrat, requested the records to share with independent scientists and researchers after the clinic shut down, but the state DEP denied his request.

White then filed a Right to Know request under Pennsylvania's sunshine law, but the agency said it was not required to hand over the records because they were part of a "non-criminal" investigation. White is quick to point out that, despite the non-criminal exemption, the agency could legally release the records if it chose to do so Pennsylvania DEP spokesperson Kevin Sunday told Truthout the agency refused to hand over the data to maintain the "confidentiality" of the air monitoring investigation, but did not explain why such data must be kept from public view.

"To date, the DEP has still refused to release the 400 pages of raw data, which is troubling for a variety of reasons," White wrote in a December 6 letter to DEP Secretary Michael Krancer. "Unless and until you release this data, I will continue to have serious concerns about DEP's commitment to transparency and openness in its operations."

White also wants to know why the DEP has withheld certain sets of test results from residents who believe their drinking water is contaminated by fracking.

Last year, samples from a Pennsylvania resident's drinking water were taken to a state lab to determine if the water had been contaminated by nearby fracking activity. The lab tested the water for 24 contaminants as required by federal standards, but the results for only eight of them were reported to the resident and the DEP's oil and gas division.

Kendra Smith, an attorney representing the resident in a lawsuit against the DEP, sent a letter to Krancer alleging that his agency uses a "deliberate procedure" to withhold critical water test results from the public.

Tara Upadhyay, the technical director for the state lab where the water was tested, had confirmed in a sworn deposition that the water samples were tested for a full set of contaminants, but the lab only reported the results for eight heavy metals.

Upadhyay said that DEP field agents provide a "suite code" for lab tests that specifies which of the test results should be reported. Smith's client, for example, received test results for barium, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sodium and strontium. The lab tested for 16 other contaminants; including boron, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, silicon, lithium, molybdenum and others, but the results of these tests were not reported to the resident or the oil and gas commission.

Several of the metals that were not reported to the resident are found in fracking waste water, Smith wrote, and many of them are carcinogenic or otherwise hazardous to human health. Smith demanded that Krancer review the procedure of using suite codes and urged the agency to share more crucial information with the public.

Smith's accusations angered Rep. White, who was already frustrated with DEP for withholding the air quality monitoring data from the Cornerstone clinic. The state lawmaker demanded an investigation to determine if "someone belongs in a jail cell."

"This is beyond outrageous. Anyone who relied on the DEP for the truth about whether their water has been impacted by drilling activities has apparently been intentionally deprived of critical health and safety information by their own government," White said in November. "There is no excuse whatsoever to justify the DEP conducting the water tests and only releasing partial information to residents, especially when the information withheld could easily be the source of the problem."

Secretary Krancer quickly defending the "suite code" procedure in a letter to White. Krancer stated that the industry has used the procedure to identify drilling contamination since 1991, and similar procedures are used in other states.

"Although other results are generated by the lab tests, such results would not contribute to answering the question at hand - determining whether there is a connection between gas well activities and the water supply," Krancer wrote.

Krancer added that, in the particular investigation in question, the levels of contaminants that were not reported to regulators and the concerned resident were below the maximum concentration allowed by law.

The controversy raged in the Pennsylvania media for weeks. Experts weighed in, telling media outlets that the "suite code" procedure is an industry standard, but agreed with White that, regardless of whether oil and gas drilling is to blame for water contamination, the people who drink and use the water could benefit from access to the full spectrum of test results.

Wilma Subra, a lead researcher behind the Earthworks report that linked fracking to health problems in Pennsylvania, told Truthout that communities near fracking operations are at a disadvantage because they do not have the resources to pay for extensive testing and monitoring. For this reason, communities deserve to have access to all available data. The industry enjoys this privilege, Subra said, but communities often do not.

DEP officials continue to defend the procedure, arguing that the agency is simply doing its job - determining if fracking has caused water contamination.

White is not backing down. On December 6, the lawmaker once again demanded the air quality monitoring data from the Cornerstone clinic investigation and raised more question about water testing procedures.

"The DEP's ultimate explanation for leaving thousands of Pennsylvanians in the dark over the safety of their water is to say, 'That's just the way we do it around here, so tough luck,'" White said. "And I don't believe I'm alone when I call that brand of callous disregard for transparency and accountability unnerving and unacceptable."

Earthworks and researchers like Subra recommend that regulations be strengthened in Pennsylvania and other areas hit hard by the oil and gas boom. Public health should play a central role in permitting fracking and other industrial activities, and regulators and the industry should conduct health impact studies to identify potential problems before drilling begins.

When it comes to public health, they argue, the burden of proof should be on the oil and gas industry and its regulators, and not on the communities living in the shadows of fracking rigs.
*****'' Links within body of article at Visit Site**************

By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report

There is a petition to the right side of the article at Visit Site ~~

Kit B (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:00 pm

I would be willing to be a complainant on a law suit like that, and no one can say, I should have known better, because I still have not sold nor leased my land. These FRACKING people are killing us.

JL A (281)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:04 pm
Class action suits can begin with one named plaintiff and unnamed John and Jane Does...seems that some of the legal folks with environmental groups with legal savvy might even take it on.

Vicky P (476)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:05 pm
scary, I agree, it is criminal :/

Kit B (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:13 pm

Carole or Zen? Zen was working with Eric to manage that huge group site "Feedback and Suggestions" but she no longer does that.

It's just very frustrating to know that people are sick and reason is right across the street from one elementary school and within site of 2 more plus 2 middle schools. Every child I know has some breathing problems and we know this FRACKING is causing earth quakes. I don't know what it's gonna take but I am ready to DO something.

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:26 pm
What is Joanne trying to point at? that link takes me to my own "my news" site...-?
Kit, no I am speaking of Carole as she was the one usually crossposting news stories she spotted. Zen was never working for C2NN, not to my knowledge.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 4:04 pm

Yulan Lawson (156)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 4:08 pm
Thanks for exposing the truth. We need to know what's going on.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 4:27 pm
It's all part of the plan to sacrifice 90% of humanity to the lizard gods behind the idol of short term maximum profit. We're all expendable to these sophomoric sociopaths.

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 4:43 pm
Theodore probably got it right, and they're doing their job with a lot of care, on a big variety of fields! Where more subtle measures fail they resort to visibly violent ones, if needed.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 5:11 pm

Oh, wow . . . No wonder my ears were burning.

Angie, I never was employed by Care2 (if that's what you mean). I think you're talking about the posts I used to place at the group C2NN..Your Daily News... No, I haven't posted there lately.

LOL! (Glad you mentioned this thread in an email.)


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 5:29 pm

And while I'm here . . .

Thanks, Miss Kitty, for another great submission!


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 5:31 pm

Not to sidetrack this thread much further, but, until now, I never considered that someone may think that group was actually an "official" Care2 group -- although it's understandable.


Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 6:12 pm
Noted. Thanks for posting, Kit. This is just one of many, many articles I've read recently regarding the hazards of fracking. It IS criminal and should be banned. Also, check out the number of earthquakes that have happened recently where fracking's occurring and no earthquakes were previously reported there. I'm also reading a great article in The Nation, 12/17/12, by Elizabeth Royte, "What the Frack is in Our Food?"---it may have already been posted here on Care2.

lee e (114)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 6:36 pm
This is an extreme example of plutocracy! We can no longer believe any politician (including the President - who I almost didn't vote for because of this issue and global warming) -- the lobbyists and big oil companies have the pols by the balls, and none of them are willing to take the issues to the public - while we're finding ourselves destroying our planet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have been crazed by the fact that oil companies are placing commercials on MSNBC - a "liberal" channel - that sponsors death -- well - now I rarely watch the shit that they broadcast because I know who they're representing!!!!!! These oil companies have greater wealth than most existing countires - how the hell are we supposed to fight their mega-bucks - obviously they don't give a shit about our health ( substantiated by numerous tests -but while those tests are existing and well documented the oil companies (who evidently have no love of country, family or planet) have their own scientists who are more than willing to take it up the ass for these moguls who only see big $'s - if my language offends - pardon me - this is where we're at - our lives are at stake and we're being "snowed"!!!

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 6:56 pm
Yes Carole, that is exactly what I meant and by it I did NOT say or mean "employed". Not being member of ANY group -other than C2NN- I have no clue how that works, just noticed the absence of their daily email notifications about "news to note" for many months now, without any explanation.

Lee-wish I could send you another star..

Kit B (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 7:28 pm

Nah, I didn't think you meant employed only assisting other members, something Carole has done for many others.

I completely agree with Lee and I sent him a Green Star. We lost all sense of independent media long ago, to find any truth of semblance of truth one has to do some digging .

And....just to add to the news - there is another shooting - this one in a mall in Oregon - 3 dead including the shooter. Let's hope the numbers go no higher. We also need to do something about this hysterical GUN culture.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 7:56 pm

Thanks, Angie and Kit . . .

(No, I don't think I'm at the top of Care2's "favorites list." I disagree with them too much. It would be ridiculous to assume that I would perpetuate their profit-oriented agenda. I enjoy having access to this site to disseminate truthful information, when not censored, but have my life at stake not to sell out.)

Fracking? (From our non-responsive-to-the-public-taxpayer-paid-for dollars, such as the FDA and EPA, just to name a few) for which our tax dollars pay, who then REFUSE to reveal the same results of investigatory research . . . for which our taxes paid.)

It's treasonous!

Is there anyone here that still doubts that corporations -- not this government -- are controlling ALL information revealed to the public???


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 8:04 pm

This country's "elected" representatives have all sold out.


May have been a unique, and healthy, idea at one time . . . But, like all new concepts, eventually, the greedy and less than honest will find a way to under-handedly (and at the expense of the lower rungs) benefit from it, while those still living in the false glow, will not recognize the deception and even refuse to question it.


Kit B (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 8:05 pm

To be honest, Carole - I haven't doubted that for many years. Since the end of WWII we have been a militaristic, highly profit motivated society, hell bend for self destruction. Those of the Grand Ole Poops cling tightly to old worn out philosophies of "try it again - this time it might work" while those of the democrats are drawing ever closer to the republican stupidity. Both are fully sold out to corporate interests and neither give a flip about the people of this or any country.

EPA and FDA do not function to protect the interests of the people, only which company is paying the most for the next "sell-out".

Kit B (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 8:17 pm

Some things begin as a cause and then become a movement and over time become a strangle hold. Those who pay attention know when it is time to begin again with a new cause.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 8:18 pm

All over this country, people are literally sick and dying from the results of bills passed that informed common citizens and activist organizations have PLEADED for them to reconsider.

Result? Despite citizens' petitioning and emails, and calls, and letters . . . resounding approvals by those same people (our government) -- who are ignoring them, and causing grievous harm to the very people who pay for them to represent them.


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 8:23 pm

Kinda makes one wonder why those same people who heartily agree that war in foreign lands is the answer to propaganda-advanced fear-mongering don't take a good look at their OWN country.

Diversion is a very effective tactic.


Kit B (276)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 8:25 pm

Yep, and most people are just too caught up in fear to ever speak out. We need but look around us everyday and see the clear signs of death and destruction. Toxic water, toxic food, toxins in our ground soil, toxins in the air we breath, every drink of water, each breath we take . Some how it is just easier to believe cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and so many diseases that didn't exist before we began this launch to our own demise, but no one dares look at what is real.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 8:28 pm


I am reticent to sign, or otherwise advance, any "call to arms" for the U.S. to be involved in any "intervention" in another country.

The now-proven stench of propaganda and other-than-noble profiteering prevents me.


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 8:48 pm

And, while "There is no such thing as a good war and there is no such thing as a bad peace -- Benjamin Franklin" is true, and even as citizens honor the loss of their loved ones for their service (which I highly respect, but mainly because of their unnecessary loss for a cause that was less than respectful) . . .

We continue to demonstrate that we have been brainwashed. And as such, even with disastrous results, will glorify this senselessnous.

Although I am a humanist/agnostic, I do pray.

In many ways, I feel shackled (as are most), but my prayers are for those who have been mislead, and who are continuing to support these decisions/decision-makers, whose influence will eventually make life on earth unlivable, for insidious reasons.


Susanne R (235)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 9:48 pm
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure --and that's why we need to close the Halliburton loophole, which "authorizes oil and gas drillers, exclusively, to inject known hazardous materials -- unchecked -- directly into or adjacent to underground drinking water supplies. It passed as part of the Bush Administration's Energy Policy Act of 2005."

Knowing what was being being injected into the earth, under high pressure, would provide us with a lot of the answers we're seeking.

According to Earthworks:

"Energy development needn't threaten our drinking water and public health -- but under the Halliburton loophole, it does," said John Fenton, a rancher negatively impacted by drilling activity, and member of the Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens in Wyoming.

Hydraulic fracturing injects fluids under extremely high pressure into an oil or gas well to crack open underground oil and gas formations. The fluids usually contain highly toxic chemicals, and hydraulic fracturing is suspected of contaminating drinking water across the country. Hydraulic fracturing is now taking place in 34 states from New York to Ohio to Colorado.

"When it comes to protecting the public's health, it's not unreasonable to require these companies to disclose the chemicals they are using in our communities especially near our water sources," said U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), Vice Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. "Our bill simply closes an unconscionable Bush-Cheney loophole by requiring the oil and gas industry to follow the same rules as everyone else."

The exemption is known as the "Halliburton loophole" because former Vice President Dick Cheney, ex-CEO of Halliburton, is associated with its creation. Halliburton developed hydraulic fracturing in the 1940s, and remains one of the three largest manufacturers of fracturing fluids.

"It's time to fix an unfortunate chapter in the Bush administration's energy policy and close the 'Halliburton loophole' that has enabled energy companies to pump enormous amounts of toxins, such as benzene and toluene, into the ground that then jeopardize the quality of our drinking water," said U.S. Representative Hinchey (D-NY). "Our legislation says everyone deserves to have safe drinking water by ensuring that hydraulic fracturing is subject to the protections afforded by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The bill also lifts the veil of secrecy currently shrouding this industry practice."

The legislation ensures that a federal minimum standard prohibits endangerment of underground sources of drinking water while allowing states flexibility in implementing that standard. These bills also require disclosure to relevant public agencies of the chemical constituents used in fracturing.

"Oil and gas drilling is important to our local economy," said Michael Rendon, Mayor Pro Tem of Durango, Colorado. "However, the public deserves to know what type of industrial chemicals are in use near their homes and water resources so they can protect themselves and their communities."

As so-called unconventional gas drilling expands across the country, the potential threats to water from this unregulated practice continue to grow. In response, local governments and water districts have passed resolutions that demand action to close the loophole and protect drinking water."

It appears that the greed and ineptitude of the Bush-Cheney administration will haunt many of us for the rest of our lives.

Patricia H. (440)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 12:32 am

Robert O (12)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 12:44 am
Thank you Kit.

Giana P (398)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 12:54 am
Fracking is dangerous and is a crime, it must be banned.

Dorothy N (63)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 1:37 am
Kit B., this is so... insane, and yet so typical...

Joanne Dixon (12)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 3:12 pm
Gee, you don't suppose there's any connection to this, do you?

Angelikanomail, that link took me to here, which I don't think anyone has noticed yet, so I'll add it here:

The Most Damaging Things Happening to Canada Are the Things You Cannot See

World (tags: 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', government, HumanRights, politics, corruption, humanrights )
Dorothy - 4 days ago -
Elizabeth May of Canada's Green Party alerts us to her unfortunately well-founded concerns that 'a fundamental re-structuring of the internal workings of government' is occurring under Harper. ' ...If I am right, the situation is very dangerous. ... '

Joanne Dixon, if you'll put up a direct link, rather than a 'noted' link, we can see what you're referring to - thanks!

I'm curious, lol.

Thanks, Susanne R., that certainly explains a lot...

The following examples might help to explain a little more:

Federal Court Reinstates EPA Whistleblower after 9/11 Asbestos Dust Warnings
May 16th, 2012

A former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee responsible for exposing the government cover up of health hazards from the 9/11 site finally received justice for her actions.
A federal court ordered Cate Jenkins to be reinstated to her former job, with back pay, after being terminated in 2010 for accusing the EPA of intentionally covering up the dangers associated with the toxic dust at the 9/11 sites.
Jenkins, a chemist for the EPA, was the first official to speak out about the health hazards associated with dust from the World Trade Center buildings.
She recognized that the toxic dust that resulted from the collapsed buildings of the 9/11 Attacks contained dangerous asbestos, lead, cement particles and glass fibers.
Government Withheld Information
Inhalation of this dust caused respiratory diseases and cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, some of which have been and continue to be felt by 9/11 first responders.
This hazardous link between the dust and diseases has been confirmed by numerous environmental experts since 2001.
Warnings by officials like Jenkins could have prevented many respiratory diseases suffered by hundreds of local firemen, policemen, EMT and others if they were properly heeded.
According to Jenkins’ lawyer, Paula Dinerstein, the federal court’s actions amount to vindication.
Jenkins, who is also a polio survivor, worked for the EPA for more than 30 years. She was determined to disclose the truth despite the agency’s efforts to keep it under wraps.
Christine Todd Whitman was the head of the EPA following the 9/11 Attacks and denied that there was substantial information to “indicate a health hazard.” She since has acknowledged that the Bush administration wanted to avoid panic by disclosing the health threat.
Unfortunately, this avoidance of panic comes at the expense of many brave first responders.
Many of these first responders who now suffer from diseases and cancers have had difficulties attempting to receive ompensation for their honorable work. Still, much of today’s progress towards the conditions of 9/11 first responders is possible because of Jenkins’ efforts to battle the EPA.
Fighting for the Truth
This is not the first time that Jenkins fought the EPA and beat them.
In the early 1990s, Jenkins was transferred from her job at the EPA for exposing the Monsanto Company for publishing fraudulent studies that said no link existed between dioxins and human cancers, when in fact a link did exist.
It was later determined by an administrative judge that Jenkins was transferred wrongfully.

(If anyone follows some of the links at source, please note that industry studies, specifically, 'showed' that chrysotile is [supposedly] less hazardous than the less profitable amphiboles they finally abandoned under the pretence of these posing most hazard, to continue exposing people to asbestos in products,while real life produces more accurate effects; the asbestos industry had a great deal of input in determining their own liability, preferring to off-load what they could on workers and others provably exposed.)

... A 1988 study looked at 181 railroad workers exposed to chrysotile asbestos. Of them, 156 deaths were reported. And of those deaths, 41 were cancer-related and 14 were attributed to mesothelioma. Another study involving 3,072 former South Carolina textile workers exposed only to chrysotile asbestos demonstrated toxic results. Of the 1,961 workers who died by 2001, there were three cases of mesothelioma. Higher numbers were reported for lung cancer and asbestosis. ...
... Some scientists think chrysotile’s curly, flexible fibers are less likely to cause disease when inhaled than other types of asbestos. Although other types may be more likely to cause mesothelioma, chrysotile does pose a high risk for the cancer and an even higher risk for lung cancer and asbestosis. ...

Amphiboles do tend to produce higher rates of the asbestos signature disease, mesothelioma, (where asbestos fibres - a complete carcinogen needing no assistance to cause disease in man or lab animal - working to the outside of the lungs cause cancer there, rather than inside the lungs) which could not be successfully attributed to other causes, despite still ongoing efforts,but the disease rates are typically underplayed, misdiagnosed or attributed to other things, generally the fault of the workers, either life-style or genetic weakness, Anything But Chrysotile...

EPA Ordered to Reinstate Whistleblower
SOURCE: Associated Press | Dec. 8, 1992 | By H. Josef Herbert

The Environmental Protection Agency has been ordered to reinstate a senior scientist and pay him $ 50,000 for emotional distress after he was fired allegedly for whistleblowing activities, his lawyer said Tuesday.
The decision, involving William Marcus, a senior toxicologist in the EPA’s Office of Drinking Water, was made by a Labor Department administrative law judge under a federal whistleblower protection statute.
Steve Kohn, who was Marcus’ lawyer during the appeal of his dismissal, called it “the most significant case to date for an environmental whistleblower involving the EPA.”
“I’m elated. I feel like a building has been lifted off my chest. It’s removed a cloud from my reputation that was unjustly put there through lies and manufactured evidence,” said Marcus, 52, who said he planned to return to his $ 87,000-a-year EPA post soon.
Marcus, who had worked at the EPA for 18 years, was fired last May 13 after a lengthy investigation of the scientist’s outside activities as an expert trial witness and how they related to his position at the EPA.
During the appeal, Marcus maintained that his superiors at the EPA knew about his outside work. He argued that his dismissal stemmed from a controversial internal memorandum he wrote in 1990 challenging the agency’s position on the adverse health effects of fluoride.
When the memorandum was leaked to the press, it embarrassed senior EPA officials, Marcus maintained.
In ordering Marcus’ reinstatement, Administrative Law Judge David Clarke Jr., said that three of the four charges against Marcus were not supported by fact.
Instead, Clarke concluded the reasons given for the firing were “a pretext” and that he really was dismissed “because he publicly questioned and opposed EPA’s fluoride policy.”
The EPA had no immediate comment on the Dec. 3 ruling made public Tuesday. “Until we see the decision it would be premature for us to comment,” said agency spokesman John Kasper.
Clarke directed that Marcus be reinstated to his old job of toxicologist and senior science adviser, be provided back pay with interest and be paid $50,000 in compensatory damages because of emotional stress.
Marcus had testified that the dismissal had disrupted his home life and made his wife a “physical wreck” and that he suffered from moments of “great depression” as a result.
In firing Marcus, the EPA accused him of improperly using agency information for private gain, using working hours for his private activities as an expert trial witness and engaging without approval in outside employment that appeared to pose a conflict of interest.
The agency produced employee time cards allegedly showing Marcus on a number of occasions had been involved in his private activities when he should have been at work. He argued that he used annual leave time for the activities, although time cars at times showed him absent because of illness. The EPA also maintained that during court testimony and depositions he often implied his views were agency views.
Clarke noted that in a number of other cases where EPA employees faced similar charges they were given only short suspensions.
The judge wrote that after Marcus’ fluoride memo became public he had to submit weekly activity reports, lost his right to routinely engage in outside work and was restricted to “studying the least controversial chemicals.”
Tags: cancer, douglass, epa, ntp bioassay, osteosarcoma

ome > epa >
This Week on Honesty Without Fear
Posted on May 4, 2012 by Lindsey Williams
Tune in Tuesday at 1:00pm EDT to Honesty Without Fear on Progressive Radio Network.
Guest Host Dr. David Lewis interviews fellow EPA whistleblower William Sanjour about his recent article "Designed to Fail: Why Regulatory Agencies Don't Work" in Independent Science News. Mr. Sanjour uses his 30 years of experience at the EPA to not only explain the problem, but also to offer some solutions. One of those solutions is to better protect the whistleblowers who raise concerns. Listen to Lewis and Sanjour discuss why administrative regulations are broken and why they failed to prevent events like the BP Oil Disaster. ...

EPA whistleblower wins big
by Michael Wall

A Department of Labor Administrative Court Judge has awarded a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee in Atlanta one of the largest-ever punitive damages awards in an environmental whistleblower case. Last month, the judge ordered the EPA to pay Sharyn Erickson close to $300,000 for subjecting her to a hostile work environment and hurting her career. Erickson's ordeal began back in 1995, when she alerted EPA offices and state officials in Texas that a cleanup at a hazardous waste site was compromised because EPA officials failed to set specific standards to determine the safety of the site. Erickson's bosses transferred her to a position with no chance for promotion, and asked the U.S. Attorney's Office to open a criminal investigation into her actions.
Investigators cleared Erickson of any wrongdoing years ago, but her bosses held the criminal charges over her head for 1,179 days, according to court documents.
At her 12-day trial this summer, environmental scientists and investigators praised Erickson's conduct, calling it heroic. Judge Clement J. Kennington described the EPA's behavior as reprehensible, ordering the agency to pay $225,000 in punitive damages and $50,000 in compensatory damages. His 100-page decision was issued on Sept. 27.
"It's a major victory for whistleblowers, and it exposes EPA in Atlanta for the tyranny it is," says Erickson's attorney, Edward Slavin Jr. "Sharon basically was used as a symbolic victim by management to show everybody else what happens if you raise concerns -- even internally -- within the government."
EPA spokesman Karl Terry says the agency has appealed the decision.

EXCLUSIVE Article from EPA Whistleblower Wes Wilson - 'Carnegie Mellon Report in Error' EXCLUSIVE

The reason that Carnegie Mellon's report claims than natural gas has lower carbon footprint that coal compared to the Howarth Cornell report which makes an opposite conclusion lies in some fundamental difference in the factors used by these researchers. ...

... "Abstract. This study estimates the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production of Marcellus shale natural gas and compares its emissions with national average US natural gas emissions produced in the year 2008, prior to any significant Marcellus shale development. We estimate that the development and completion of a typical Marcellus shale well results in roughly 5500 t of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions or about 1.8 g CO2e/MJ of gas produced, assuming conservative estimates of the production lifetime of a typical well. This represents an 11% increase in GHG emissions relative to average domestic gas..." (emphasis added)

The Scientist »
The Nutshell

EPA whistleblower sues university

A University of Georgia (UGA) microbiologist and whistleblower at the Environmental Protection Agency is suing the university Board of Regents, the university research foundation, and five faculty members for accepting federal grant money to publish fraudulent research, according to court documents. David Lewis, an adjunct professor in the university department of ecology, conducted EPA-funded research in the 1990s on the harmful effects of sewage sludge, and in 1996 wrote a commentary in Natur

By Andrea Gawrylewski | April 21, 2008 ...

... In a letter Lewis' lawyer wrote to UGA president Michael Adams, obtained by the linkurl:Baltimore Examiner,; he said: "I can fully appreciate the ramifications it would have on the University of Georgia's bid to become a national center for agro-bioterrorism research if President Adams were to truthfully acknowledge the role his office has played in the fabrication of scientific data."

Collected Papers of William Sanjour

After 30 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency I finally retired in June 2001. Before my retirement I decided to try to gather all the things I have written about EPA and my experience as a whistleblower in one place. With my retirement I continued to write on subjects of interest to me but didn't have much luck getting them published so I lost interest. But now I find everyone is blogging so I dredged up some of my letters and I am blogging too. See LETTERS PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED. ( My friends say its not really a blog, so shoot me.) I'd be interested in reading your comments. William Sanjour ...

Wednesday December 12, 2012, 3:37 am
We need more whistleblowers and less corporate/government crap. This would make our world a vastly better place to live in.

Tanya W (65)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 4:34 am
Thanks. I am positive that I would never want to live near such pollution and destruction that Fraking brings.

Mike M (40)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 5:43 am
The media does what it is told and releases only tidbits of information of what the government, officials or corporations do. Americans today are led by the nose with blinders on. Lies have told for year but now the awful truth is coming out about what was really done or happened. Control, money and power ie Ego has caused more destruction on this planet than religion.

Anna M (18)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 7:20 am
The real price of anything is
the amount of life exchanged for it.
So the real question is:
How many lives per gallon?

It seems Corporate planetcide will be allowed as long as enough money is moving among the OnePercenters.

Cree Prophecy
When all the trees have been cut down,
When all the animals have been hunted,
When all the waters are polluted,
When all the air is unsafe to breathe,
Only then will you discover
you cannot eat money.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 7:32 am
Stars to all of you, sorry I am out for most. Thanks so much Dorothy for picking up on that link, I had wished Joanne would return. Most of the info provided here was not new to me though.
If only people could figure out a way, preferably a non bloody one, to break through that deadly web of destruction created by the elite..

David C (131)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 7:56 am
Leave the poison in the ground.....

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 9:49 am
I have to defend the gas company that's currently drilling in my area. They did extensive studies and test our ground water every 3 months; they hold open town meetings and all information and complaints are made public. Funny thing is, there haven't been any complaints and they've been drilling for a long time. Another
result in their favor is, that with the revenues generated, landowners are able to retain their properties and the Mom and Pop farms are staying afloat. 10 years ago everybody was giving up.

Wednesday December 12, 2012, 10:02 am
Regulators should not be under fire, they should be under arrest and charged with supporting crimes against humanity.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 10:43 am

Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you"
You cannot currently send a star to Greg because you have done so within the last week.

Tom C Sullivan (98)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 12:16 pm
I don't trust any goverment agency

Lin Penrose (92)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 1:29 pm
Noted, Thanks Kit. Interesting and educational comments.
Re; Starting petitions. I rec'd an e-mail from, asking if I wanted to start a petition, contact them.
Re: Fracking. Abominable. Lawsuits or citizens rightful demands for information regarding their situation, should not be withheld. Follow the money trail if the stonewalling by the State of Pennsylvania (and other states) is intentional. If lawyers are afraid of getting into this, regardless of the serious health & environment effects of "fracking", the "keep quiet & stall the citizens" demands must come from very high up the power & money ladders. The PBT's may be serious about the U.S.A. becoming more oil independent from other oil suppliers (mid-East countries as one source. End result will still be a short term supply of oil while truly screwing up the country environmentally and human health.


Aaron Bouchard (158)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 1:38 pm
Gladly noted, thanks

greenplanet e (155)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 3:42 pm
Fracking is going out of control. It should be halted, but profits for the few win again for now.

Gloria picchetti (304)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 3:51 pm
I can tell you first hand how environmental issues work. Those that are ruining your land just do it. You are poor and you have not rights. My mother passed away while our land was trashed. No one cared. The rich got richer.

Madeleine watt (243)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 4:10 pm
When the frackers work in their own neighborhoods and drink only the resulting water maybe we will listen. Other wise "no thank you."

Glenville J Owen (0)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 5:16 pm
Thank you for the article Kit, and all who commented on it. 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you', ought to be what the gas companies and the government should strive to do here, working with local communities to cleanly extract the gas only with local blessing, compensating them for any inconvenience, keeping them informed of the progress and making sure no harm is caused by the gas extraction both before and during drilling.

. (0)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 5:30 pm
What a no brainer. Drink the Kool-Aid; it's good for you.

JL A (281)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 5:37 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Susanne because you have done so within the last week.

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 6:38 pm
FracFocus' domain is registered by Brothers & Company, a public relations firm whose clients include America’s Natural Gas Alliance, Chesapeake Energy, and American Clean Skies Foundation - a front group for Chesapeake Energy.

What Chemicals Are Used
Chemicals perform many functions in a hydraulic fracturing job. Although there are dozens to hundreds of chemicals which could be used as additives, there are a limited number which are routinely used in hydraulic fracturing. The following is a list of the chemicals used most often.

Chemical Name CAS Chemical Purpose Product Function
Hydrochloric Acid 007647-01-0 Helps dissolve minerals and initiate cracks in the rock Acid

Glutaraldehyde 000111-30-8 Eliminates bacteria in the water that produces corrosive by-products Biocide
Quaternary Ammonium Chloride 012125-02-9 Eliminates bacteria in the water that produces corrosive by-products Biocide
Quaternary Ammonium Chloride 061789-71-1 Eliminates bacteria in the water that produces corrosive by-products Biocide
Tetrakis Hydroxymethyl-Phosphonium Sulfate 055566-30-8 Eliminates bacteria in the water that produces corrosive by-products Biocide

Ammonium Persulfate 007727-54-0 Allows a delayed break down of the gel Breaker
Sodium Chloride 007647-14-5 Product Stabilizer Breaker
Magnesium Peroxide 014452-57-4 Allows a delayed break down the gel Breaker
Magnesium Oxide 001309-48-4 Allows a delayed break down the gel Breaker
Calcium Chloride 010043-52-4 Product Stabilizer Breaker

Choline Chloride 000067-48-1 Prevents clays from swelling or shifting Clay Stabilizer
Tetramethyl ammonium chloride 000075-57-0 Prevents clays from swelling or shifting Clay Stabilizer
Sodium Chloride 007647-14-5 Prevents clays from swelling or shifting Clay Stabilizer

Isopropanol 000067-63-0 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent Corrosion Inhibitor
Methanol 000067-56-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent Corrosion Inhibitor
Formic Acid 000064-18-6 Prevents the corrosion of the pipe Corrosion Inhibitor
Acetaldehyde 000075-07-0 Prevents the corrosion of the pipe Corrosion Inhibitor

Petroleum Distillate 064741-85-1 Carrier fluid for borate or zirconate crosslinker Crosslinker
Hydrotreated Light Petroleum Distillate 064742-47-8 Carrier fluid for borate or zirconate crosslinker Crosslinker
Potassium Metaborate 013709-94-9 Maintains fluid viscosity as temperature increases Crosslinker
Triethanolamine Zirconate 101033-44-7 Maintains fluid viscosity as temperature increases Crosslinker
Sodium Tetraborate 001303-96-4 Maintains fluid viscosity as temperature increases Crosslinker
Boric Acid 001333-73-9 Maintains fluid viscosity as temperature increases Crosslinker
Zirconium Complex 113184-20-6 Maintains fluid viscosity as temperature increases Crosslinker
Borate Salts N/A Maintains fluid viscosity as temperature increases Crosslinker
Ethylene Glycol 000107-21-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Crosslinker
Methanol 000067-56-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Crosslinker

Polyacrylamide 009003-05-8 “Slicks” the water to minimize friction Friction Reducer
Petroleum Distillate 064741-85-1 Carrier fluid for polyacrylamide friction reducer Friction Reducer
Hydrotreated Light Petroleum Distillate 064742-47-8 Carrier fluid for polyacrylamide friction reducer Friction Reducer
Methanol 000067-56-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Friction Reducer
Ethylene Glycol 000107-21-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Friction Reducer

Guar Gum 009000-30-0 Thickens the water in order to suspend the sand Gelling Agent
Petroleum Distillate 064741-85-1 Carrier fluid for guar gum in liquid gels Gelling Agent
Hydrotreated Light Petroleum Distillate 064742-47-8 Carrier fluid for guar gum in liquid gels Gelling Agent
Methanol 000067-56-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Gelling Agent
Polysaccharide Blend 068130-15-4 Thickens the water in order to suspend the sand Gelling Agent
Ethylene Glycol 000107-21-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Gelling Agent

Citric Acid 000077-92-9 Prevents precipitation of metal oxides Iron Control
Acetic Acid 000064-19-7 Prevents precipitation of metal oxides Iron Control
Thioglycolic Acid 000068-11-1 Prevents precipitation of metal oxides Iron Control
Sodium Erythorbate 006381-77-7 Prevents precipitation of metal oxides Iron Control

Lauryl Sulfate 000151-21-3 Used to prevent the formation of emulsions in the fracture fluid Non-Emulsifier
Isopropanol 000067-63-0 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Non-Emulsifier
Ethylene Glycol 000107-21-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Non-Emulsifier

Sodium Hydroxide 001310-73-2 Adjusts the pH of fluid to maintains the effectiveness of other components, such as crosslinkers pH Adjusting Agent
Potassium Hydroxide 001310-58-3 Adjusts the pH of fluid to maintains the effectiveness of other components, such as crosslinkers pH Adjusting Agent
Acetic Acid 000064-19-7 Adjusts the pH of fluid to maintains the effectiveness of other components, such as crosslinkers pH Adjusting Agent
Sodium Carbonate 000497-19-8 Adjusts the pH of fluid to maintains the effectiveness of other components, such as crosslinkers pH Adjusting Agent
Potassium Carbonate 000584-08-7 Adjusts the pH of fluid to maintains the effectiveness of other components, such as crosslinkers pH Adjusting Agent

Copolymer of Acrylamide and Sodium Acrylate 025987-30-8 Prevents scale deposits in the pipe Scale Inhibitor
Sodium Polycarboxylate N/A Prevents scale deposits in the pipe Scale Inhibitor
Phosphonic Acid Salt N/A Prevents scale deposits in the pipe Scale Inhibitor

Lauryl Sulfate 000151-21-3 Used to increase the viscosity of the fracture fluid Surfactant
Ethanol 000064-17-5 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Surfactant
Naphthalene 000091-20-3 Carrier fluid for the active surfactant ingredients Surfactant
Methanol 000067-56-1 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Surfactant
Isopropyl Alcohol 000067-63-0 Product stabilizer and / or winterizing agent. Surfactant
2-Butoxyethanol 000111-76-2 Product stabilizer Surfactant

Last year, a hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") chemical fluid disclosure "model bill" was passed by both the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It proceeded to pass in multiple states across the country soon thereafter based on this FracFocus. (note ALEC)

Energy companies failed to list more than two out of every five fracked wells in eight U.S. states from April 11, 2011, when FracFocus began operating. Also a close reading of the bill...reveals loopholes that would allow energy companies to withhold the names of certain fluid contents, for reasons including that they have been deemed trade secrets.

U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) to say that FracFocus and the model bills it would soon be a part of make a mockery of the term "disclosure."

"FracFocus is just a fig leaf for the industry to be able to say they’re doing something in terms of disclosure," she said.

That was by design, thanks to the bill's chief author, ExxonMobil.

Various part excerpt from:


Angelika R (143)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 6:48 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Dandelion because you have done so within the last week.

Great, -they have a swiss cheese-bill .
Exxon hates your children

Pledge to view the ad on TV

Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 8:50 pm
Noted, thanks.

SusanAWAY Allen (219)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 9:14 pm
Everything I have read and learned about fracking always seems to be bad. Several years ago, I had heard about fracking, but hadn't given it any attention until while at home one day, I felt an earthquake tremor. I have lived in mid-NC for nearly 60 years and don't ever remember hearing about tremors in my state. I think there is the possibility of an earthquake happening on the east coast, but it's not anything anybody really believes is going to happen anytime in the near future. But, sure enough, the news reported that it was a tremor and could possibly have been the result of fracking happening in Pennsylvania. It seems as though PA may have experienced some tremors as well. Setting aside for the moment, the insanely dangerous chemicals that are being pumped into the ground which seem to be finding their way into the water supply, consider that the earth beneath our feet is being fractured and we're allowing it. I mean, it's just seems insane to me. How can anyone honestly believe that fracturing the earth all over the planet is safe, add in the chemicals and you've got yourself the perfect recipe for a disaster of epic proportions just waiting to happen. I am beginning to educate myself and have read some very good articles which I post and share everywhere I can think to do so. I talk to friends and neighbors; I sign petitions and contact my legislators. In an environmental letter to the president, I suggested that the matter of fracking was so important that he might want to personally do some reading and research into the subject himself and that he should do it for his children, his future grandchildren, for America and for the whole planet, as well as for people everywhere. It's doubtful one person will get through to him, but I'd like to believe that if enough others did the same thing, that anything is possible.

Sandra M Z (114)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 11:34 pm
Solar on every roof and car via the enlightened private sector, then we won't need this dirty natural gas or any fossil fuels. Please hurry, for Groundwater Love is Best.

Melania Padilla (122)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 3:40 pm

Jim P (3257)
Thursday December 13, 2012, 4:36 pm
We can thank ex-veep chemey and Halliburton for hiding this technology of
feracking with no oversight by the EPA. Cheney did this while veep during
the bushy era.

Ty, Kit.
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