Why the need for careful water analysis? With special thanks to Angel, the following is most troubling:


Same substances detected in air,

07:07 AM CDT on Tuesday, April 13, 2010
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

DISH — Tests on blood and urine samples taken from residents by state health
officials in January have found the same toxic compounds in people’s bodies
that have been detected in the air and water here.

1,3-Butaduene compound

Toluene compound

Trichloroethylene compound

• N,N-Dimethylformamide

The results showed that exposure is occurring, according to Louisiana
chemist Wilma Subra.

“Clearly, it’s connecting the dots — which we didn’t want to happen,” Subra

Subra, the recipient of a 1999 MacArthur Fellows “genius” grant for her work as
an environmental health scientist, has been working with the community ever
since Dish spent $15,000 last year to commission its own study of the town’s air

Eleven gas gathering pipelines converge at the southern end of the town, where
five energy companies run major compression and metering facilities in a
side-by-side complex of plants on Strader Road.

Allison Lowery, Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman,
confirmed that the department sent results last week to all 28 residents who
were tested, far fewer than the 50 people the agency originally planned to
choose at random for testing.

In addition, the department will release a summary report, since individual
results are considered confidential. The aggregate report is being drafted now
and should be released the last week of April or the first week of May, Lowery

Resident Amber Smith was troubled that it took so long to get the individual
results, she said. When investigators came to take a water sample along with
blood and urine samples in January, she was told it would take four to six
weeks to get results.

As she read the April 2 cover letter that came with her results, she said the
words seemed carefully crafted.

She was angered, however, she said, at how the letter suggested she had been
exposed to the solvent N,N-dimethylformamidethrough“the production of
electronic components, pharmaceutical products, textile coatings, and synthetic

“I’m around none of that,” Smith said. “They found the same compounds in all my
neighbors, but in trying to explain that, they failed to associate that it
could be the drilling. They never once did even mention that in their

Similarly, when he received his individual results, Mayor Calvin Tillman said
he was reassured at first, since the levels detected in his blood did not
exceed any average values for the general population, according to the cover
letter that came with his test results.

But no such baseline comparison exists for urine, where toxic compounds show up
as metabolites in the body. And, after Smith and Tillman compared their
individual results with several other residents, they became more concerned.

The same toxic compounds found in their own blood and urine tests were detected
in other residents. Tillman said he asked Subra to make some comparisons.

Overall, many of the same compounds found in the air or in the local water
supplies, which state health officials also tested, have been detected in the
blood and urine from those test results she’s seen, Subra said.

Toluene, for example, was detected in the air at all seven locations tested in
Dish last August. A toluene metabolite was detected in Tillman’s urine sample
along with the urine samples of at least three other residents. Records for
four of the 28 individuals were released to the Denton Record-Chronicle by the

Tillman said his health is good, but he has experienced headaches and a burning
feeling in his throat and lungs when he could smell emissions coming from the
nearby complex.

Tillman’s urine contained 5.4 micrograms of a toluene metabolite per gram of
creatinine, according to the documents, along with 832 micrograms of a
butadiene metabolite and 307 grams of a N,N-dimethylformamide metabolite.

All three compounds are among 187 airborne toxic substances that the
Environmental Protection Agency is supposed to monitor. Dimethylformamide can
cause liver damage, butadiene can cause cancer and toluene can affect the
nervous system and the kidneys, according to studies compiled by the Agency for
Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services.

While ethylbenzene was found in six, and styrene in three, of the seven air
samples collected in August, state health investigators also found ethylbenzene
and styrene in Tillman’s well water.

Dish officials have been so focused on the air quality that they may have
forgotten the potential for exposure through the water supply, Subra said. Many
Dish residents have private water wells.

Lloyd Burgess was among those residents who also released his individual
results. State health officials noted that “the level of trichloroethene found
in [his] blood was slightly higher than the level found in people throughout
the United States,”
according to the cover letter.

Burgess’ blood test found 0.013 micrograms of trichloroethene, known as TCE,
per liter of blood, compared to a nationwide benchmark of less than 0.012

TCE is a solvent for metal cleaning and degreasing, sometimes found in home
maintenance and auto products. Repeated exposure to TCE may cause liver, kidney
or lung cancer, according to the federal registry. TCE also was found in one of
the air samples collected near Burgess’ home, Subra said.

Burgess declined to comment, saying his attorney advised him not to.

Both Smith and Tillman were troubled that none of the random samples taken by
investigators included children. Each is a parent of two elementary school-aged

Had state investigators tested the blood and urine of children, there would
have been no nationwide benchmark to compare the results, Lowery said.

Smith said she and her family live on land that belonged to their in-laws, and
she worries about what her children are being exposed to.

“I have this nagging guilt,” Smith said. “My kids are the most important thing
to me, but we can’t just up and move.

“Even if we did, where would we go? Everywhere it’s the same thing — even in Fort
Worth — there’s no escaping it.”

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881. Her e-mail address is .

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Comment by daniel cohen on May 6, 2010 at 3:08am
With special thanks to Angel, the thoughts of Calvin Tillman
Mayor, DISH, TX (940) 453-3640 may be instructive:

"There have been a lot of my friends in the industry who have found it necessary to begin aggressive personal attacks on me. Several industry publications, such as the Powell Barnett Shale Newsletter have had articles and editorials stating that I am pretty much everything but a nice person. This activity is not new; however, the intensity has been elevated and it has gotten much more personal. This tells me that I must be making an impact, or they would not attack me personally. This also tells me that they have given up on attacking the message, now they are only attacking the man.
Obviously, anyone who would bother to read the Powell Newsletter knows that it is industry funded. As everyone also knows by now, I do not accept compensation or travel expenses for my presentations, and unfortunately those at the Powell Newsletter can’t say the same. They are in all reality a paid cheerleader for the natural gas industry, join me Gene…rah rah rah…gooooo… Chesapeake.
Frankly, if the industry wants to truly be successful they would embrace the ideas that I bring forward, which is doing business in a respectful and responsible manner. I find that in every presentation I give, there are always a few who show up that have read the propaganda and are looking for a fight. However, after listening to my message it is apparent that I am not some anti-drilling wacko and the picture that has been painted of me is inaccurate, and it is always nice to hear that they agree with my points before they leave.
Everyone knows that the industry has an ugly baby, except for the industry themselves. I know it must be difficult to admit your baby is ugly, but like they say about alcoholics, you must first admit you have a problem before can move one. Instead this industry continues to deny their baby is ugly.
There is really no doubt for anyone who has accomplished even a small amount of research that there is certainly a downside to this industry. If this downside is not mitigated in some manner we will be looking at a mess that will need to be cleaned up down the road when all of these companies are long gone. As history has shown us, these companies are typically nowhere to be found when it comes time to clean up the mess. That cleanup project is left for the citizens and taxpayers, not the companies who made billions making the mess. The industry will outsource this cost to the hard working American people, just as that try to do for all of their costs.
The industry wants us to believe that they are a fledgling industry who cannot afford to take simple measures needed to make the shale plays a win-win situation. I think that most of us know that this industry spends billions lobbying to prevent them from being mandated to do it right. Therefore, they could and should do this process more responsibly and respectfully.
They are picking the pockets of the citizens of Pennsylvania, who will be paying for the mistakes made by their elected officials for many years to come. This state is one of two that have oil and gas activities, and do not have a severance tax for the minerals. They pay this tax in every other state, and will gladly pay it in Pennsylvania, but continue to lobby for the outsourcing of their costs to the taxpayers. This could be billions when it is all said and done, but as it stands, the billions will come from hard working Pennsylvania taxpayers.
Every location that has natural gas exploration in Pennsylvania has something in common, and that is destroyed roads. Instead of being the good neighbor we keep hearing about, they outsource the cost of the road repair to the taxpayers. However, these small communities simply can’t afford to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars in road repairs; therefore, the citizens in these areas drive on destroyed roads, worse than I have ever seen. If the natural gas industry wanted to improve their image, they should embrace a severance tax in Pennsylvania, instead of chasing me around the country.
As the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico shows, we are one wrong move from a catastrophic event. As any good Texan does, I really enjoy my gulf shrimp. Unfortunately, thanks to the reckless actions of this industry, it will likely be several years before I can enjoy it again. That is not the bad part though; the bad part is that something similar will happen here before this is over. It is only a matter of time before we have that catastrophic event somewhere in one the shale plays. However, in the shale plays they have put this hazardous activity in school yards and neighborhoods. So guess what is going to happen when the catastrophe happens here? There will be a lot of dead people.
The last editorial written Gene the “propaganda machine” Powell himself, was entitled “All Hat and No Cattle” ( I must admit that I do not have any cattle. However, I would like to have cattle, but I am afraid they would die or abort their calves, like they do in the small town of Clearville, PA, home of Clearville Gas Storage. In this area the hard working Americans have to purchase their own filtration system to take the high levels of arsenic out of their well water. Most of the surface and ground water has been contaminated by this reckless industry in Clearville, PA.
As one of my new friends in Pennsylvania said, I am the new villain for the industry extremists. They rally around the Powell Newsletter, which gives me an entire section of every issue. Whatever happens, they blame me for their problems. If a large landowner refuses to sign a one sided lease, it will be my fault. If a community demands that the industry be responsible, it is that Calvin Dewayne Tillman’s fault. When people rally around the idea of a fair and equitable severance tax…yep, you guessed it…Calvin’s fault. It has nothing to do with the industry that has contaminated dozens of private water wells in Pennsylvania, and is destroyed air quality and property values wherever they have been, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. It has nothing to do with the industry that outsources its cost to the taxpayers, while its executives make hundreds of millions dollars in bonuses. Nope, those things have no influence on public perception. It is only that mayor of DISH; Calvin Dewayne Tillman, that causes all of this grief for the natural gas industry.
If the industry would be responsible and respectful, instead of searching out a new way to attack me, they would be much better off. However, it appears the more they attack me, the more people come to see what the big deal is. As bad as they hate it, every presentation that I give is to a packed house. Furthermore, I find dozens more who want me to speak in their town. People want to know the truth through eyes of someone that has lived it, not a paid cheerleader. I truly wish the industry would do the smart thing and let me help them become responsible and respectful. However, they are going to continue to be the irresponsible bully, blaming me for all of their problems.
Mr. Powell is right on another matter; I have no shortage of arrogance against this industry. Maybe it was my Oklahoma raising, or the fact that my parents would not allow me to stand by while a bully ran over those too passive to defend themselves, but I am not afraid of this industry and certainly will not be deterred by their personal attacks. Frankly, seeing this fear that has been struck in these industry extremists keeps me going, when my energy has run out. You should see the looks on their faces, when I walk over and shake their hand. So I hope Mr. Powell and the extremists keep “Poking the Bear”, regurgitation the same propaganda, because in the end, that may be what forces them to be respectful and responsible, and hopefully those companies that chose not to will perish. God bless."
Calvin Tillman
Mayor, DISH, TX
(940) 453-3640

"Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it"

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