Fracking fluid dangerous

| Monday, April 22, 2013, 5:27 p.m.

Re. the article “Township expects $332K influx from gas lease,” (April 12) about drilling in Clinton: The article fails to fully disclose the environmental health hazards associated with hydrofracturing, even though those hazards were clearly and thoroughly presented to your reporter during her 25-minute phone interview with me.

Harvesting natural gas causes significant water and air pollution known to be poisonous to people and animals:

• Toxic fracking fluid commonly contaminates groundwater through defects in well casings, wastewater spills and illegal dumping into waterways and abandoned mines.

• Pressure-relief valves on gas condensate tanks and dehydrators at the well site and compressor stations release natural gas, volatile organic compounds and hydrogen sulfide directly into the atmosphere. These releases are exempt from federal and state air quality regulations, but are extremely toxic and explosive. Also, the flaring process releases these compounds and a host of other by-products.

Your reporter cherry-picked the one concern I had about the nondisclosure of the fracking-fluid chemicals going down the wellbore and juxtaposed it to an assertion from the CEO of PennEnergy, who said what is going on 6,500 feet below ground couldn't possibly have any impact on the surface. He failed to say 20 to 30 percent of what goes down also comes up, laden with elements and compounds from the Marcellus shale itself — toxic heavy metals, radioactivity and volatile organic compounds.

What is in the fracking fluid to start with contributes to the toxicity of this flowback.

Sam Edwards

Clinton Township

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