BREAKING: Oil & Gas Drilling Impacts Public Drinking Water Supplies in Potter County

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by Melissa Troutman, Executive Director, Public Herald

this story is part of an ongoing report and will be updated frequently

UPDATED 12:11pm (9/25/15): includes audio and video from meeting on 9/24/15 with JKLM and reports from DEP including their first response.

UPDATED 1:03pm (9/25/15): includes anonymous DEP Borough of Water Quality Source information, and confirms no official notification has been sent by DEP to the public.

UPDATED 3:00pm (9/25/15): response to JKLM claims in press release and description of Isopropanol use in fracking.

UPDATED 5:30pm (9/27/15): timeline of JKLM problems, resident complaints and DEP response confirmed and published. Discussion with area residents affected and canvassed by Public Herald added to report. Toxicity of  Isopropyl alcohol (Isopropanol).

UPDATED 3:14pm (9/30/15): Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) for f-485 surfactant  obtained by Public Herald that contains Isopropanol is included in report. After further investigation JKLM released a new estimate that 98 gallons of the surfactant was injected, rather than the original report of 53 gallons. A photograph is added of foam collected in a jar from the North Hollow tributary by local residents. JKLM’s press contact refused to listen to or answer questions from Public Herald and hung up the phone. The phone call is transcribed and provided in the report for review. DEP published an official press release for North Hollow on September 30th that’s included.

CORRECTION (9/25/15): the original report on September 24th stated Matt “Nuff” from DEP responded to a resident, but his name is Matt Nuss.

Fracking Pollution Northhallow Potter County

Public Herald found pollution appearing in ponds in the valley below North Hollow allegedly from the Reese Hollow well pad in Potter County, PA. The well pad is 2.8 miles from the ponds. © jbpribanic

Two public drinking water systems have been impacted and at least seven private water supplies contaminated due to ongoing pollution being caused by a natural gas fracking operation of JKLM Energy in Potter County, Pennsylvania.

An emergency public meeting occurred September 24th at 4PM at the Gunzburger Building in downtown Coudersport to inform the public. Public Herald was the only press agency in the meeting.

“It’s worse than we thought,” stated one local official who wishes to remain anonymous.

This is the first time that public water supplies have been impacted to the point of being shut down due to potential groundwater contamination from unconventional oil and gas operations. The chemical injected underground by JKLM has been detected in an aquifer said to be within the recharge zone for the public drinking water supplies as outlined in the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition source water protection plan. After further investigation JKLM released a new estimate that 98 gallons of the surfactant was injected, rather than the original report of 53 gallons.

According to JKLM, between September 15th and 17th a broken drill bit was lost and retrieved from 570 feet down their Reese Hollow well after using an illegal chemical during that stage of the drilling process. (This depth was changed by JKLM energy to 708 feet down at a later meeting.)

JKLM Reese Hollow well, Potter County.

The JKLM Reese Hollow 144 well pad responsible for illegally injecting a chemical used in fracking during the early stages of drilling into an uncased well bore contaminating the aquifer below and impacting area residents of Potter County, PA. © jbpribanic for Public Herald

By September 19th two residents living 800 feet from JKLM’s well site reported foamy drinking water at their private water supplies. About 72 hours later, two more residents reported foamy water 9,000 feet away from JKML’s operation.

The Department of Environmental Protection responded on September 21st, three days after the first residential reports of foaming drinking water.

By September 24th an emergency public meeting was held by JKLM in downtown Coudersport and a sixth resident reported water problems at that time. Residents have reported to Public Herald that they were unaware of the meeting or that it was public so they did not attend. JKLM announced at the meeting that they’ve provided water buffalos to the first five private water wells owners.

JKLM also made clear after the meeting they have hired Penn E&R from Mansfield, Pa. to test 60 private water wells up to 2.5 miles away from the Reese Hollow Well Pad, including the Hershey pond Public Herald photographed 2.8 miles from the site. (In a JKLM press release on September 30th the total wells tested changed to 83 samples.)

Following the emergency meeting on Septemeber 24th, JKLM opened a Community Outreach Office on 200 N. West St. in Coudersport to handle concerns. The office hours are 9:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday. Additional contact information is available on the “North Hollow Response” website recently launched by JKLM (http://www.northhollowresponse.com/home.html).

JKLM Reese Hollow well, Potter County.

The Reese Hollow #118 shale gas well, aimed for testing the Utica formation, where JKLM began drilling operations on August 28, 2015 according to Pennsylvania oil and gas regulator, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). © jbpribanic for Public Herald

So far, the chemical Isopropanol JKLM poured injected into an uncased well bore at 570ft has been detected in one of six residential water supplies at 15ppm (parts per million). Isopropanol is listed as a corrosion inhibitor by the FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry and commonly used in hydraulic fracturing. But JKLM has been denying its connection to fracking and referring to it mainly as a “soap” surfactant and a substance unlikely to be harmful due to dilution.

Isopropanol has a health and fire rating of 2, meaning “moderate,” according to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) obtained by Public Herald from Colorado well data and regulations meant to be on hand for workers.

Statements released by JKLM go after Public Herald’s reports, “A second claim, that the chemical involved in this incident is “typically used for fracking infiltrated shallow and subsurface groundwater aquifers” is also inaccurate. This natural gas well was not being hydraulically fractured, and these surfactants are commonly used when developing wells on compressed air during the early stages of drilling.”

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On September 27th JKLM released the following press release:

As of September 26, 2015, JKLM Energy, LLC has received a total of 24 lab results from water sources near the Reese Hollow 118 wellpad…Isopropanol, the chemical of principal concern in regard to the release from the drill site, has been detected in only one water well, with a total of five wells confirmed with levels of methylene blue activated substances (MBAS), which are used to test for the presence of surfactants.

Residents canvassed by Public Herald in the contamination zone are still using their water to bathe, shower and cook despite potential toxic health effects of isopropanol, which include skin and respiratory irritation, gastrointestinal upset, and neurological symptoms such as dizziness. Residents report that they’ve not been told by JKLM to stop using their water for washing and cooking, even though some families have young children and isopropanol can be absorbed through the skin. JKLM has, in contrast to downplaying concerns about the chemical due to dilution, evacuated some residents to a hotel and offered rooms for others.

Public Herald was onsite, and can confirm that two ponds 2.8 miles down the valley from the Reese Hollow well had a white tint and haze. The local residents said they noticed the ponds turned white on September 22nd (Tuesday), and vegetation in the pond hasn’t died, but lost surface tension, and in some places has slipped underwater.

Foam in this jar has been collected in the North Hollow tributary by local residents and had a chance to settle for a few hours before being photographed after bubbles originally filled the entire glass. Leaves and other stream vegetation can create naturally occurring foam that is suppose to turn brown overtime. © jbpribanic

Foam in this jar has been collected in the North Hollow tributary by local residents and had a chance to settle for a few hours before being photographed after bubbles originally filled the entire glass. Leaves and other stream vegetation can create naturally occurring foam that is suppose to turn brown overtime. © jbpribanic

After heavy rains on September 30th calls made to Public Herald by local residents observed ‘foaming’ water in ditches and along the North Hollow tributary downhill from the Reese Hollow site as the area receives its first rainfall since the JKLM surfactant injection occurred around September 15th. In some cases, foam can be naturally occurring as leaves release a type of surfactant when they break down.

DISTANCE FROM REESE HOLLOW WELL PAD TO POND POLLUTION

Google maps shows the ponds that turned white after the Reese Hollow well pad incident are 2.8 miles from the site. © Save Our Streams PA

One week after DEP received notice of this incident, there’s still no official public notification issued by Coudersport Borough Water System or DEP. However, this is because DEP is only required to notify the public once contamination has been detected. Without a precautionary principle in place for future problems by either local officials or the state, the public is left to find out about an incident only after DEP confirms they’ve detected pollution, but not at the point of the Department being notified of the chemical injection by the operator.

On September 30th DEP published an official press release for North Hollow:  “The Notice of Violation includes: Failure to prevent pollution of fresh groundwater; Drilling through fresh groundwater with a substance other than air, freshwater or freshwater based drilling fluids; and Violations of Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law.”

Public Herald confirmed from local officials on the morning of September 24th after receiving an anonymous tip that Coudersport Boro Water System who took its “east” drinking water source offline on Wednesday in order to “keep the public safe” after chemicals typically used for drilling and fracking infiltrated shallow and subsurface groundwater aquifers used for the public water supply.

HERSHEY POND POLLUTION BELOW NORTH HOLLOW NOTICED SEPTEMBER 21st

Calls to DEP confirmed that problems at the Reese Hollow site began September 18th. DEP has informed local residents that any additional complaints should be called in to JKLM Energy. “The company is responsible, so they’ll handle your problems,” DEP field staff Matt Nuss told one resident over the phone.

Based on information thus far gathered by Public Herald, it appears it took three days for DEP to respond with inspectors at the Reese Hollow site, even though this permit is located alongside a public drinking water supply and source water protection area in the Boro.

Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, which maintains its own public water supply serving the hospital, a nursing home and several residential properties in the surrounding village to an estimated total of 600 people, has also stopped using its water and switched to a backup water source provided by Coudersport Borough Water Authority. Phone calls to the hospital were not returned.

The Coudersport Borough Water Authority and the hospital water supply comprise three significant drinking water sources for the Boro. After the JKLM drilling incident in Reese Hallow, the Boro is now left sourcing water through one system.

Potter-County-GIF

Timeline and map of PADEP fracking complaint investigations for Potter County collected by Public Herald. Read full “cooked” complaint report. The JKLM North Hallow problems were initially reported by citizen complaints according to local sources. © Public Herald

According to residents and Boro officials, the Boro has not informed local water consumers about the contamination or any changes made to the public water supply. “We’re waiting for test results to inform the public,” Boro Manager Beverly Morris told one resident.

Charles Cole Hospital is a critical access and nonprofit hospital that signed a lease to frack on hospital property in early 2015. The hospital and its board made no public statements regarding the potential environmental and public health risks associated with unconventional horizontal, high-pressure hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking.

JKLM Energy is a young company based in Sewickley whose owner, Terry Pegula, sold the former East Resources for $4.6 billion and then purchased the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. East Resources operations in 2010 led to the quarantine of cattle after contamination in northcentral Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvania Land Trust Association did a study on the environmental impact of natural gas drilling and found that East Resources Management LLC ranked first among about 45 drillers cited for violations during that period, with 138 violations at 140 wells.” Key employees of East Resources, such as Scott Blauvelt, are now heading up operations for JKLM Energy in Potter County.

In September ’15 Public Herald published a report on drinking water complaints that included a map of all the records for Tioga County. The story included an interview with the first complaint in Delmar Twp. who claimed East Resources contaminated their drinking water.

tioga_county_complaints
tioga_county_complaints

Review a map of all the records for Tioga County on #fileroom. 

DEP has informed local residents that any additional complaints from the Reese Hollow well pad should be called in to JKLM Energy. “The company is responsible, so they’ll handle any problems,” DEP field staff Matt Nuss told one resident over the phone.

Public Herald has published extensively about the DEP’s negligence in allowing fracking companies to handle their own water contamination investigations. Last week, Public Herald published a 30-month investigation that found nine ways DEP keeps water pollution related to fracking “off the books,” leaving residents to fend for themselves. The report includes the release of 2,309 DEP investigation files which are mapped by county and township at PublicFiles.org.

DEP maintains 24 hr. phone for dispatching response personnel to emergency and incidents. To report an incident in Potter County, residents can call DEP Northcentral at 570-327-3636.

Joshua B. Pribanic, Editor-in-Chief at Public Herald, contributed to this report

09/24/15 EMERGENCY MEETING by JKLM & POTTER COUNTY OFFICIALS

09/30/15 TOWNHALL MEETING HOSTED BY PUBLIC HERALD & SAVE OUR STREAMS PA

PUBLIC HERALD PHONE CALL TO JKLM PRESS [TRANSCRIBED]

MELISSA TROUTMAN: Hello Dave, this is Melissa Troutman from Public Herald. How Are you?

JKLM: Hi Melissa I really don’t have any comment for you. I’m sorry.

MELISSA TROUTMAN: Oh, I have a series of…

JKLM: I’m gonna decline comment. Anything that is on our…to be distributed in those updates you’re free to use.

MELISSA TROUTMAN: I actually have questions. I’m not looking for comment.  I’m looking for answers to questions.

JKLM: No! I’m not providing answers to questions. We’re going to decline comment.

MELISSA TROUTMAN: Alright. Your community liaison also had no answers to questions. Such as, “Who is the toxicologist you used…Is the inventory material…[cut off by JKLM].”

JKLM: Melissa. Thank you for your call. I appreciate it but I’m not going to answer any questions. Thank you. Goodbye.

MELISSA TROUTMAN: Is there someone I can talk to you…[phone hangs up]

  • Glen Etzkorn

    Does the tax em happy democrat Gov. have anything stupid to say about this situation?

    • He has already said, “I want to have my cake and eat it, too!” Just as stupid as the commissioners I heard at meeting heralding the arrival of the father of fracking, Terry Engelder at a meeting in January. Fracking is the new Adelphia, bringing poisoning…oops… prosperity for all! No one wanted to hear other wise and that oil soaked ragsheet published not one word about the poisoned water or EARTHQUAKES I questioned him about.

  • Maggie Mead

    I can’t believe DEP is telling residents to file complaints with the driller….this is totally irresponsible. In Pulaski, when four private water wells changed immediately after the first well was drilled at the Whiting Well pad, two of the property owners complained first to the DEP and the other two complained to the driller. DEP knew about all four complaints as stated in a letter DEP sent to Hilcorp Energy, but when DEP came out to do follow up testing – over a year later – they only tested the two wells for the property owners that had first filed their complaint with the DEP. The landowners who filed with Hilcorp were not retested because “Hilcorp was addressing their needs.” It was only after we complained that DEP came back out to test those two wells and indeed at least one of those landowners is now in the process of working out a settlement with Hilcorp because his well cannot be repaired.

    • Lisa DeSantis

      Blah, blah, blah a settlement you say, is that how Democracy works Carrie, paying off those who are harmed…..

      • Carrie Hahn

        Maybe you can describe the events and facts of this water contamination in a better way then, Lisa. Please enlighten us. But clearly I did not say anything that suggests my support for what is happening or that this is how I believe democracy works.

  • Jack Young

    One error in this article – the Reese Hollow well is just being drilled, and no fracking will take place on that location for at least a month, and then only if the results look promising. Other reports suggest that the surfactant that leaked was being used to free a drill bit that got stuck during the drilling process. That can happen with any well, even a water well, and has absolutely nothing to do with hyrdrofracturing. It’s certainly an unfortunate accident and JKLM will need to take responsibility for the damages, but this incident has nothing to do with fracking operations.

    • Glen Etzkorn

      accidents that happen too often are no accidents. Do like your scam mentioned about responsibility, but prefer seizure of all frack dung of devils total assets of CEO’s, shareholders, minerlal right owners, workers, corrupted politicians and hedge fund thieves to cover the real cost of production that is akin conspiring to commit mass murder of innocent citizens to close to these deadly operations. Toss in public health officials who fail to evacuate children under child protection services ect.

      • Jack Young

        OK, so you’re not rational and I feel bad about that. But I’m done with any forum that allows comments like this one.

        • Glen Etzkorn

          Rational is predictions just by the callous handling of radioactive waste spewed hither and thither by frackers will amount in casualties in Amerika totalling two million, if frackers continued to empty gas basins in the predicted twenty year before running out (those were physicists raps about 7 years ago not that the frack dung of devils have extended the technological horror shows length of capturing more gas simply add ,ore deaths) , (not that hard to locate the article on Counterpunch using a search engine.) Then add to that all the VOC’s causing cancers, poisoned water supplies, poisoned water sheds, simply add time called latent diseases of various sorts and figure the Haliburton loopholes do not cover pure and simple murder. Frackers have to pay with money and jail time.

      • Christin Zenchenko

        This is justifiable anger because we have so much data throughout the country on this dirty and dangerous process

    • Jack, you’ll see in the latest update we provided a longer explanation of how the chemical involved is used for hydraulic fracturing and listed on FracFocus as a main ingredient. The term “fracking” is being used by the general public to refer to the whole process of drilling, start to finish, while hydraulic fracturing is used as a reference to the short window. In essence, fracking has become the signifier for referencing any and all parts of unconventional oil and gas wells.

      • Jack Young

        If you now call the entire process of drilling and stimulating an oil and gas well “fracking”, what term do you use for drilling a well that produces oil and gas naturally, or one that produces only after some other type of stimulation? I would think that redefining a word to mean something else after 60 years in use is a recipe for confusion. Many water wells (and geothermal wells) are also hydrofractured to increase production or capacity – does drilling and completing those types of wells now also get called “fracking” a well?

        • Jack…give it a rest man! We all understand the process,(s) and terminology. The issue here is that a company beginning to construct a new well for HVHF “Stimulation” broke one of the Cardinal regulations they swore to uphold in their Permit and as such need their Permit yanked immediately! This type of rogue industrial activity must be made an example of so others will refrain from bending the rules and poisoning our precious water supplies for profit!

          • Mr_Wint_Trans_Strong_Bow

            Well no, obviously the Public Herald doesn’t know the difference between denotation and connotation of terms. As someone who has worked in the gas industry, there is a difference between ‘fracking’ and ‘drilling’ connoted in the mind of someone in the industry. Jack made a very good point at pointing out the differences. The public herald made it seem as if ‘fracking’ and ‘drilling’ are used interchangeably; as a native Potter County resident I can say that people know the difference between the two and it’s important to make the distinction. That was the entire purpose of his response.

      • Mr_Wint_Trans_Strong_Bow

        I know many people who work on gas drilling rigs that do not refer to the process of drilling a hole as ‘fracking’.

        • Strawman/ apples/oranges attempt to steer opinion away from the core issue. I don’t care if you call it FRACKING or Drilling or “exploring”…. JKLM broke the regulations re: Spud-in drilling in the construction of a well designed and approved for High Volume Hydro FRACKING and some of the PROHIBITED Chemicals tainted local water supplies! Your word games do not absolve responsibility!

          • Mr_Wint_Trans_Strong_Bow

            I’m allowed to have an opinion. I think they should take full responsibility. There is a difference between ‘fracking’ and ‘drilling’. You are obviously not from Potter County and I don’t care for your ad hominem attacks and tenuous grasp on industry knowledge.

        • Jack Young

          In my 35 years of experience I’ve never heard anyone in the industry call the drilling process “fracking”. So you are absolutely right here. I think that it’s all an ill-judged effort to somehow taint the entire oil and gas industry with the bad press that hydrofracturing has gotten.

          What’s really sad is that quite a few climate scientists have suggested that the best thing we could do to help the environment (that wouldn’t destroy the world economy in the process) would be to replace all coal-fired power plants with natural gas as quickly as possible. The net impact of that would dwarf all other climate control efforts being made around the world. But somehow the coal industry is getting a free pass right now while well-intentioned but poorly informed environmentalists and NIMBYs debate the merits of natural gas. As a friend at a major conservation organization told me a few years ago (off the record as such a position would kill their fund raising) “the biggest threat to the global environment right now is the anti-gas movement”. The comment stunned me then, but I can see now that he was right. So it’s critical that the public gets educated before it’s too late. And that education has to include understanding the difference between drilling and fracking.

          Obviously JKLM made a mistake in the current situation and needs to be held accountable for that. But it’s very unlikely that the impacts will be anything like what some are suggesting on this site. If you understand the way subsurface water moves, it’s absolutely clear that the soap JKLM was using couldn’t have any impact on ponds almost 3 miles away. Determine how many acres are in a circle with a radius of 3 miles, note how many gallons of soap were spilled and do the calculation. Then ask where the pressure would have come from to displace so much formation water so quickly. Again, with a little industry experience you can be pretty sure what sort of consequences this chemical spill will have, and it’s certainly not sufficient to justify some of the bizarre punishments being suggested by less rational people on this site. JKLM made a mistake and admitted it. Let’s focus on getting the problem cleared up and making sure it doesn’t happen again. Everyone agrees that we want to keep Potter County safe and clean while doing what we can to help slow global warming.

          • Mr_Wint_Trans_Strong_Bow

            I totally agree with you. I have worked within the industry (GFS) for quite some time now and the attitude within the industry has been promoting safety. JKLM fully admitted to their mistake (as you mentioned) and some of the alleged claims in this article seem fear mongerish. That’s what I don’t understand; if they did spill this chemical they were using for testing, how would it get displaced so quickly without applied pressure? Like my father has said, they were so quick to get rid of coal and now they want to get rid of natural gas. What will the alternative be after you take fossil fuels off the table? Natural gas has been sitting in the earth for some time; so obviously there is no need to rush and extract it poorly/unsafely. I agree that more education and advocation should be put into making people aware of natural gas extraction.

          • Your comment has as m y holes in it as there are in the Marcellus and now Utica Shale “plays”!
            First of all, in your “35 yrs experience ” seems false unless your photo is from 30 yrs ago!
            Next, you make the paranoid pronouncement that remarks here are some sort of smear campaign against the entire O&G industry, when in fact the it is a true story of an ongoing pollution of water supplies and the resulting comments and concerns. Had JKLM “drilled” ,(as you insist it be referred to), responsibly and Not INTENTIONALLY POURED CHEMICALS into an un-cased wellbore in direct violation of their Permit and State Law, we would not be having this conversation!
            Next, you claim,”several climate Scientists ” opine that anti gas activism is the biggest threat to the environment! Name them and cite the peer reviewed research!
            Last but not least you refer to the surfactant as “soap” as a means to diminish the concern, yet this “soap” contains Isopropyl Alcohol (Antifreeze) and is certainly not safe for human consumption! The extent of the contamination is yet to be seen but it does show us once more that as long as there is Drilling, FRACKING, Processing Delivery and Use of Fossil Fuel, there will continue to be “accidents”, “mistakes”, and negligence!

          • Jack Young

            You’ve got to be kidding – claiming you know my age better than I do. I graduated from law school in 1980, and got my first industry job that year. Do the math.
            Then do your own research on the rest of your claims. I’m not paid to be your tutor.

          • I stand by my observations and it is evident that you have less than nothing in the way of pertinent and factual information so you continue to distract and diverge from the core issues. Pretty lame… Esp. for a “Law School
            Grad.”

    • Sorry Jack, but it ALL has everything to do with Fracking! The drilling is done so Fracking can follow. We are weary of the semantics and doubletalk from the industry , DEP and Local, County and State “Public Servants” who seem to serve the industry, Not the Residents!

      • Jack Young

        Why say things that are obviously wrong – people will check your facts and then you’ll lose your credibility. Many wells are drilled and not fracked. They don’t get much attention, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. There was a gas field drilled near Port Allegany about 10 years ago with perhaps 60 wells – none of them needed to be fracked. Drilling was done and fracking didn’t follow. You can check this with the DEP, and apologize to everyone afterwards. I just don’t understand why people who don’t actually know much about a topic post so aggressively.

        • That fact that Jack clings to the word games proves he has no genuine rebuttal. JKLM was drilling on a permit for the express purpose of using HVHF to produce deep Utica Shale Gas. They dumped a prohibited solution down hole BEFORE any protective casing was installed and it leaked into the water table.
          Citing how other wells are drilled or any other “facts” is merely to obscure the pertinent reality. Begone Jack the Troll.

          • Jack Young

            I’m happy to debate any related issue with knowledgeable people, or help educate those who don’t know the business. I don’t, however, debate someone who doesn’t show some relevant understanding of the business. In this case that would be you. When you learn a bit more about oil and gas development come back then and we can talk.

          • I have exposed you for the disreputable drill- shill that you are Jack. It is I who am done with your pathetic rhetoric.

          • Jack Young

            Thanks for proving my point. You did it much better than I could have!

  • Mike S.

    Why the state of Pennsylvania or its counties would allow for Fracking in one of the most pristine wilderness areas in America speaks volumes of its greed and ignorance. Potter County is home to the Black Forest, the Forbidden Lands. It has an incredible history and lure. It should not be ravaged and laid waste to by opportunistic capitalists hell bent on draining its resources.

  • Interesting segment at 25 min mark where they admit they “Screwed up” and “Made a grave error” when asked why they used a prohibited chemical Before the wellbore was cased to protect the aquifer!

  • Mr_Wint_Trans_Strong_Bow

    I don’t think the extent of purported damage is necessarily true. This article seems a little fear mongerish. The accident didn’t involve fracking and fracking is not used in Potter County as a primary source to drill. Drilling in Potter County in general is pretty slim.

  • “Unconventional Oil & Gas” is used in the title, and the article
    clearly states at what point in this overall “fracking” operation problems
    occurred – during drilling.

    Public Herald uses the term “fracking” to refer to unconventional oil and gas extraction operations wherein “fracing” or “hydraulic fracturing” is used along with other processes to extract natural gas that is otherwise not able to be removed by conventional operations. We understand that drilling and hydraulic fracturing are separate parts of the overall “fracking” operation.

    It is common for industry employees and pro-fracking supporters to argue the merits and origins of the colloquial term “fracking” which has been adapted by the public, for many years now, as a one-word descriptor that refers to the overall unconventional process – engaging in semantic debate with industry is a dead-end street.

    Anyone with a specific editorial concern can email Melissa@publicherald.org in addition to posting comments here.

    Thank you for reading.

    • Kelly Leigh Ahearn

      thank you Melissa for this.

    • tke265

      I think your criticism is projected in your writing

  • Lisa DeSantis

    SHUT THE FAUCET OFF AND GO HOME MOTHER FRACKERS!