Report – People Harmed by Gas Drilling Speak with Michael Krancer

Meeting report from Bradford County residents who attended a recent meeting with the new Secretary of the PA Department of Environmental Protection.

Heads up everybody,

As some of you may know, friends and neighbors, residents of Paradise Road in Terry Township, have become increasingly ill (both adults and children) while living with increased well water pollution caused by Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s (CHK) nearby drilling operations.

These most unfortunate families have been fighting CHK for many months now due to badly fouled water and their misfortune has made international news. CHK offers the usual lame platitudes that they are not at fault, that there were inherent problems in the geology, an earthquake in Canada could have caused geological shifts (!), that there was pre-existing methane, etc.

Due to ongoing water issues, CHK drilled a second water well, not because they accepted fault but because they are “good neighbors” in the industry. That new well was also polluted! Chesapeake installed the infamous water buffaloes at homes. Ongoing problems caused CHK to install large outdoor water filtration systems and residents were assured the water was potable.

Various residents have been experiencing increased adverseĀ health issues and recently insisted on having their water retested.

We spoke with two of the most impacted families a few days ago and were told that they had just received the horrible news that their water contains significant amounts of Gluteraldahyde. This is a potent biocide used in the gas and oil industry both in the drilling phase as well as the fracturing process.

Gluteraldehyde is produced and marketed as Protectol GA50 and GA24 by BASF to the gas and oil industry. This BASF site advertises to the gas and oil industry. Note in particular pages 5, 10 and 12. We don’t know if theses are the exact forms found in the Terry Township water supply, but it is about glutaralehyde and it is not meant to be ingested, touched or inhaled.

Chesapeake will now have to admit to introducing severe toxins into drinking water. Or will they somehow be able to buy their way out again? What else is lurking in the drinking, cooking, bathing and washing water? And what very dangerous compounds are formed when various chemicals combine with various thanes and heavy brine and the hyperchlorinated water in the buffaloes?

So CHK told the people to go back drinking water directly from the heavily chlorinated buffalos — the water that burns their skin. Obviously people should not ingest it but some are trusting and do drink it.

On Election Day, about 16 of us met at a Paradise home at the request of Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko who stated he was bringing the new PA Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, Michael Krancer. Krancer only wished at this time to speak with a group of people who have been directly impacted by water issues/well drilling/fracking.

Secretary Krancer stated that he wanted to hear what our concerns were and not to hold anything back. It was a productive meeting with the only discourse directly taking place between we, the people, and Secretary Krancer. He was accompanied by his assistants, a DEP lead attorney and Mark Smith, a Democratic candidate for county commissioner.

Secretary Krancer listened patiently and respectfully. No politicking took place as we feared might be attempted. Then we would have erupted as it would have been entirely inappropriate, since people were very upset about the polluted water and CHK’s refusal to rectify anything.

I had reviewed Secretary Krancer’s bio, which of course is most impressive. Over and above his extensive experience in complex commercial, white collar criminal, and environmental litigation etc., he was a Judge on the Environmental Hearing Board.

But as I told him, with respect to all of his professional accomplishments, I was most impressed with his extensive work with disadvantaged families, high school students, and environmental groups. He has done graduate level work in religious studies and biblical interpretation. He is a civil war re-enactor. And he has three dogs (that did it). Sounds like a neat human being doesn’t he?

Anyway, I’m not tooting his horn –he doesn’t need it. I appealed to him on a humanitarian level (that so very few officials seem to possess) to hear the pleas of the citizens of his state who are being bullied and poisoned by the gas industry. To hear, really hear the sad stories of the people sitting around him who can secure no help or recourse at all from the polluting Goliath CHK.

He seemed to be very touched by the little children who were not feeling well at all. And he replied vehemently that he was unaware of and would investigate the heavy-handed tactics of CHK’s modus operandi of demanding non-disclosure signatures and the signing off of future liability before new water buffalos or water treatment/filtration systems can be hooked up.

He seemed genuinely surprised and often disgusted by what he heard. Corbett the Great may have appointed the wrong man to head the DEP in his gas-friendly administration. The gas industry isn’t going anywhere but hopefully there will be a slowdown of the destruction going on and real regulation and oversight put in place.

Krancer has only been in office four months and he has levied a decent fine on CHK and we hope much, much more to come. Chesapeake didn’t exactly cooperate–they were forced to. But after all it’s only a pittance to CHK and the loss of almost everything to the little people.

CHK doesn’t like their filth laundered in public and we must all hang it high! Many are working to expose what is really happening in our state and we appreciate you all.

Thanks for listening.

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