CCW conference: Impacts of natural gas production and transmission


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James Schmid, Schmid & Co
Natural gas development has continued to expand in states like Pennsylvania and West Virginia, while states like Maryland and New York are proceeding cautiously while trying to gather additional information on environmental, health, and forest and habitat impacts. Development of the industry has left communities dealing with impacts from industrialization to farm and forest land to increased stormwater runoff of sediment from drilling operations, including pipelines, road, and drill pads. This panel will explore the changing landscape in the Chesapeake region in relation to clean water goals and what impacts local communities are experiencing as well sites are developed, roads are built, and pipelines are constructed. The panel will take an in-depth look at pipelines in the region and the siting, regulatory, safety, and environmental aspects to consider when transporting water and natural gas throughout the region.

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CCW conference: Impacts of natural gas production and transmission

  1. 1. Potential Impacts ofNatural Gas Production andTransmissionJames A. SchmidSchmid & Co., Inc., Consulting EcologistsMedia, Pennsylvania5 June 2013
  2. 2. Gas must be moved by pipeline, not by truck or rail.Its extraction and transmission threaten waterresources and people. The industry is minimallyregulated. Shale gas poses a much greater threatthan conventional gas production.(Post-Production)
  3. 3. About 5 acres 10 feet deep---just beneath theDEP permit threshold. Fresh water is one thing,returned frackwater from wells, something else.
  4. 4. Drilling Water Reservoir – Fresh and/or Return WaterDrilling Water Reservoir – Fresh and/or Return Water
  5. 5. Water taken to/from reservoir by pipe or tanker truckWater taken to/from reservoir by pipe or tanker truck
  6. 6. This small frackwater pipeline joint failure caused loss of morethan10,000 gallons of fluid resulting in a fish kill in High Quality BrushRunwatershed, Washington County, 2009. Damage to fish,
  7. 7. Casing leaks =water pollution
  8. 8. Typical Hydrofracturing Fluid“Slickwater”
  9. 9. What Comes Out of a Fracked Well in the Return Water?1. Chemicals put into the ground in the slickwater mix (varies)2. Chemicals extracted from the ancient ocean-bottom depositsExample Concentrations (milligrams/Liter = parts per million)Chemical Drinking Water Typical PA Typical Marcellus IncreaseStandard, USEPA Groundwater Flowback Over Typical________________________________________________________________TotalDissolvedSolids <500 163 67,300 413xSodium 7 18,000 2,571xChloride <250 5 41,850 8,370xBromide 0.016 445 27,813x
  10. 10. Old, abandoned wellsmay be intercepted andallow escapeof fracking fluid, as inthis geyser (2012).
  11. 11. Well pad fire, Avela PA, February 2011
  12. 12. Bradford County, Pennsylvania
  13. 13. Gathering Line Crossing Wetlands
  14. 14. Compressor stations pushgas along the pipes.
  15. 15. Detailed Plans Exist Onlyfor Big Interstate Pipelines
  16. 16. Pipelines Cross Steep Slopes and Cause Erosion
  17. 17. Welding is Criticalfor Pipeline Safety
  18. 18. SCRANTONTIMES-TRIBUNEFew spillsmake news.
  19. 19. Pennsylvania waivesregulation of obstructionsand encroachments instreams draining fewerthan 100 acres.That’s more than half theland area in theCommonwealth.
  20. 20. 952 “serious” violations of PADEP regulations at shalegaswells by 43 drillers over a 30-month period, 2008-
  21. 21. Shale Gas Development in PennsylvaniaPrepared by Clean Water Action
  22. 22. Smaller diameter,Lower pressurePipes
  23. 23. Retail Gas DistributionMeters
  24. 24. Roadside Retail Distribution Gas Meters, Butler County PA
  25. 25. Fire from the buildup of gas from a distribution line leakin a private home.
  26. 26. In this incident of pipeline failure there was no fire or explosion. Thecrater was created by the pressure of the gas coming out. A section ofpipe was hurled into the right background area of the photograph.
  27. 27. Appomattox, Virginia, Pipeline Fire, 2008
  28. 28. Appomattox, Virginia, 2008
  29. 29. Interstate Transmission Pipe Corrosion, Appomattox VA, 2008
  30. 30. Eight persons dead, 58 injured, 38 homes destroyed, 70 damaged in thisincident in San Bruno, California, 10 September 2010. The 30-inch pipe-line was 62 years old and operated at 365 psig pressure (MAOP 400)on the day of rupture. Nearly 48 million cubic feet of gas were released.
  31. 31. Potential Impacts ofNatural Gas Production andTransmissionJames A. SchmidSchmid & Co., Inc., Consulting EcologistsMedia, Pennsylvania5 June 2013
  32. 32. Enbridge Kalamazoo, Michigan, Dilbit Spill, 2010Cleanup Cost approaching $1 billion