Sadly there doesn't appear to be any ongoing monitoring of aquifers related to drilling activity, This is not a single county issue, but an environmental issue that each of us needs to be alert to. I'd like to suggest that each and every landowner take it upon him/herself to do the necessary looking out for their own health and for the health of their neighbors.

When/if you become aware of an issue-don't keep it to yourself. Yell about it loudly and often, in newspaper article alerts as well as challenges to our representatives and legislators. Get your local reporter involved-in short-you take charge.

All good thoughts,

Dan.

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Companies are testing the water of pretty much every landowner within a unit and sometimes even those who are with x feet of a unit.  What kind of monitoring are you looking for beyond that?

Independent verification by agencies/departments that are not connected with  the Oil Companies themselves. Oversight by State/County/Federal watchdogs would be best don't you think?

Dan

Oversight by the state exists.  In Ohio the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) requires each company have specific plans for each phase of drilling, containment, and disposal of all waste.  The county level is impossible because none of these counties have any money to speak of.  None.  The few that do have some sort of income base that is outside of farming are run by incompetent political hacks (I'm referring to Mahoning County in this case) and I wouldn't trust them to shovel my driveway let alone have any whiff of oversight when anything other than walking and chewing gum was the topic.  The federal government is too big already and they can't seem to get a handle on how to run a website let alone keep track of the massive terabytes of data needed to watch over every water well within a drilling unit in this country.  

The energy companies have a vested interest in getting it right and having evidence that proves it.  When they get it wrong they pay dearly, both in cash and in public perception.  If they follow the rules and are not subject to the sort of human error that happens from time to time the system works.  If they don't follow the rules they go out of business.  In case you wanted to know what it looks like when a company is on the hook for breaking the rules Google "Anadarko Petroleum Tronox ruling" and read up.

ROTFLMAO    soooooooooooo trueeeeeeeeeeeee

Marcus,

I understand your reluctance to trust big government.The solution you are arguing for is to trust the O/G companies to do the right thing. Has that been your experience with them? It certainly has not been mine nor the many reports available on the internet.

Let's agree that we want the best for ourselves and our families.Trusting others to look out for us is not the way to ensure that outcome.We need independent monitoring and verification to do that. So far we (landowners) do not have that. Or do you feel that indeed we do?

Dan

What do you mean we (landowners) do not have that? An individual  landowner can test their well anytime they want by an independent testing company.It sounds to me like you would expect someone else to do something for you that is your personal responsibility.As far as ongoing testing I am quite sure the smallest municipality test raw water at a regular interval drawn from the aquifer. It is interesting there hasn't been any alarms sounding, which I am quite sure would be shouted from every internet news site immediately.

Jack F.

You make my point. The individual landowner needs to do exactly what you suggest-maintain a watch on their own water quality as well as keeping an eye out for other contaminants/pollutens that could impact the aquifer negatively.

Dan.

Well said Marcus! 

Marcus,

Thanks for the URL on Anadarko. I believe that you may have made my point for me. There Anadarko is being held to a responsible position of having to clean up a contamination. The Government was required to enter the fray since the company was not about to do so on its own. Indeed, Anadarko is still battling against having to do so.

To fight a deep pocket organization is beyond the financial means of most of us individually,Thus the need for either a large class action suit or the intervention of a government agency to keep the players honest.

Your further point about not relying upon the government to keep watch is also on target. I agree  that we as landowners ought to expect fair/equitable treatment-with the caveat that we need to look out for ourselves and our neighbors by being ever vigilant and alert. In the case in point, we can rely upon neither the government nor the O/G companies to look out for us. This we need to do for ourselves and then hold them all responsible to do the right thing. Sadly, neither group will do so without our monitoring. Or do you disagree?

Dan

"I believe that you may have made my point for me. There Anadarko is being held to a responsible position of having to clean up a contamination. The Government was required to enter the fray since the company was not about to do so on its own. Indeed, Anadarko is still battling against having to do so."

The problem is that APC was not responsible for the initial mess.  They bought a company that was spun off from another company.  They're being punished for a problem they didn't cause.  It's like how JPM had to pay huge fines to the government because of shady deals done by WaMu, which the government begged JPM to buy.  It's a cash grab by the Justice Department.

As far as additional oversight I suppose ODNR could send out state inspectors to do water tests before and after drilling in conjunction with the third party tests done on behalf of the drillers.  But you better be willing to fully fund ODNR and hire some new workers, which means that the money needs to come from us.  If there was a revenue-nuetral way to do that I would support it.

Marcus,

Agreed that APC was not responsible for making the initial mess-but they did accept that responsibility once they acquired the company that did. Now rather than do the right thing by  either having the original company clean up the mess BEFORE final acquisition, or accept the depressed price because of the contamination and clean it up themselves. They (APC) did neither and instead attempted to avoid dealing with the situation.

As for a revenue-neutral way to ensure proper oversight, I propose that the individual landowner  do exactly what Matt Santiago did-he hired a private water analysis company to do it. That makes sense to me. Actually, it is what I did as well, but but the bottom line is to do what needs to be done to discharge our custodial duties in a way that makes those who follow proud of what we have done.

I suspect you and I are not that far apart in what we would like to see being done, or am I mistaken?

Dan

I want them to drill like crazy and I want them to do it safely, effectively, and without the overhanging burden of an intrusive government.  That's what I want.  I want every well to be drilled to the highest standards and I want the people who cut corners to save a buck to be publicly eviscerated.

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