Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Play

Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.

Play

The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.

Play

The first-ever "Trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm owned by The Nature Conservancy; the "Healthy Housing Initiative" is helping improve livability and reduce health risks in 22 rural communities; and if Oklahoma calls you, there s a new database to make it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Halliburton’s Dirty Secrets Pumped Into WV?

Play

Monday, April 8, 2013   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Landowners, citizen groups and environmentalists are concerned about legislation now before the House of Delegates that would allow drilling companies to keep secret the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Outreach coordinator Chuck Wyrostok, West Virginia Sierra Club, said the industry, led by the huge oilfield service company, Halliburton Corp., has convinced lawmakers in several states to treat the chemical formulas as trade secrets.

The drilling service company wants to do the same thing is West Virginia, Wyrostok warned. That is acting with contempt for the people living around Marcellus natural gas drilling, he said.

"It's pretty ludicrous to say, 'We're gonna pump secret chemicals into the ground, and we're gonna transport them through your towns, past your schools. And I'm sorry, you just can't know what they are,'" Wyrostok said.

Senate Bill 243 inserts what Wyrostok and others call the "Halliburton dirty-secrets amendment" into a bundle of rules proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection. It has passed the Senate and is now before the House Judiciary Committee.

Drillers use hundreds of chemicals to help break up the rock deep underground and get the gas out. Halliburton spokesmen have said the company wants to keep competitors from learning its formulas. But critics say it is more likely they don't want landowners and residents to know.

There are practical reasons for not treating the fracking formulas like CIA secrets, Wyrostok pointed out.

"Say a truck going through a town in West Virginia crashes or ruptures, and no one knows what the chemicals are. How do the first responders react to that? They don't know what's in that truck."

Landowners have a hard time testing their well water for contaminates if they don't know what they're looking for, he said, noting that doctors would have to ask the companies what chemicals might be making their patients sick. No one knows how long the company might take to respond, Wyrostok said, or even if it would. Plus, if the doctors find out what the chemicals are, the new rule would forbid them from telling anyone, he added.

"Basically, it's a gag order," he said. "I don't think the medical community is gonna go along with that. Doctors in Pennsylvania are suing the state over it."

Information about the status of SB 243 is available at http://www.legis.state.wv.us.




get more stories like this via email

An estimated 64,875 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty in 2020, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Nebraska has had a number of deadly and destructive fires this year, and nearly half the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought. If it is as …


Social Issues

Illinois voters approved a "Workers' Rights Amendment" to the state constitution which broadens the state workforce's rights to collective bargaining…

Health and Wellness

The legal fight over North Dakota's abortion ban continues, and oral arguments about one element of the case were heard by the state Supreme Court …


Child poverty dropped to 5.2% during the pandemic because of the expanded Child Tax Credit and other relief efforts. (ktay21/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: Monthly amounts of the expanded Child Tax Credits were $250 (ages 0 to 5) to $300 (ages 6 to 17). An earlier version of this story had …

Environment

Wildlife biologists are warning Iowa hunters to have their deer tested for a deadly condition known to attack the animal's brain. Chronic Wasting …

Same-sex marriage became legal in Nevada in October 2014. (Ronstik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Nevada marriage-equality groups say the U.S. Senate's passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a huge step forward for people who identify as LGBTQ+…

Social Issues

After the calendar flips to December, South Dakota will see the return of colder temperatures during a period of higher natural-gas costs. Fire …

Environment

By Phil Roberts for Next City.Broadcast version by Edwin J. Viera for New York News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021