new study shows that oil and gas drilling operations in Colorado may lead to short-term health impacts such as nausea, headaches and nosebleeds — a finding that is leading to calls for stricter regulations.
The report, commissioned by former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration and released Thursday, found that health risks are greatest during drilling and fracking of wells and that emissions reach 2,000 feet from the drilling site.
Colorado officials on Thursday unveiled a multi-year scientific study that found oil and gas operations may have a worse impact on human health than state agencies previously believed by exposing residents to benzene and other chemicals.
The study found people living between 500 feet and 2,000 feet of oil and gas fracking sites can have elevated risk of nose bleeds, headaches, dizziness and other short-term health effects.
State regulators of the oil and gas industry responded by announcing they immediately will start reviewing more strictly all industry applications to drill new wells within 2,000 feet of homes and begin measuring air emissions around industry sites.
Most people are shocked by the intense hydrocarbon odors during oil and gas drilling. How can a well that is not complete have emissions? Neighborhoods unfortunate enough to have oil and gas as a neighbor can better prepare if they know what to expect.
A hole must be drilled through the formation to access the oil and gas. They may drill horizontally for a mile or more through a shale formation that contains oil and gas. During the drilling phase, they pump drilling fluids/drilling mud through holes in the drill bit.
There are different kinds of drilling mud for different types of drilling. Every kind of mud has environmental and health risks.
Monday, Oct. 7. marks the start of what the British-based group Extinction Rebellion is calling the International Rebellion. Thousands of people will occupy the centers of some 60 cities around the globe, including Madrid, Amsterdam, Paris and New York, to stage nonviolent occupations of bridges and roads for at least a week. The goal is to paralyze commerce to force the ruling elites to respond to the climate emergency. I will be at Battery Park in New York to join them Monday morning.
In January 2015 North Dakota experienced one of the worst environmental disasters in its history: A pipeline burst, spilling nearly 3 million gallons of briny, saltwater waste from nearby oil-drilling operations into two creek beds. The wastewater, which flowed all the way to the Missouri River, contained chloride concentrations high enough to kill any wildlife that encountered it.
It wasn’t the first such disaster in the state. In 2006 a spill of close to 1 million gallons of fracking wastewater into the Yellowstone River resulted in a mass die-off of fish and plants. Cleanup of that spill was still ongoing at the time of the 2015 spill, nearly a decade later.
The protest blocking the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea is now in its 11th week. Hawaii’s state and county officials still claim they can find “a way to move forward,” though there is little evidence such a path exists.
Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim, whom Governor David Ige put in charge of the crisis in August, released a proposal that calls for the inclusion of “Native Hawaiian leaders” in future management decisions for the summit. But Kim’s plan fails to address the current situation, and, given that he has no jurisdiction over the summit, his plan is the legal equivalent of fairy dust.
Later this month, the South Dakota Water Management Board will be holding five hearings on water permits needed for the Keystone XL pipeline expansion, which will cross several rivers as it makes its way from the tar sands in Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska. If the pipeline expansion is approved—it’s been on hold for nearly a decade —it will affect several tribal and First Nations communities along its route. Tribal activists fear this will bring not only economic and environmental impacts, but also sexual violence.