After speaking with a lawfirm that represents individuals injured by toxic exposures, we’ve learned that courts in Texas, arguable the most pro-Big Oil state in the Union, are handing down massive judgements in favor of victims injured in fracking cases. The specifics of these judgements are sealed as part of the cases.
So when one of the attorneys said, “Just wait until December when the EPA Study comes out,” we did a quick search to learn more. The following is an excerpt from a blog post on OilandGasInvestor.com, an online magazine for “companies who explore for petroleum or provides finance, capital and advisory services to oil and gas operators”:
By way of background, the EPA study is in response to a 2009 request by the House of Representatives that the EPA conduct scientific research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. According to the EPA, the purpose of the study is “to assess the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, if any, and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of such impacts.” The study is examining hydraulic fracturing in a variety of geological formations. The study’s primary research questions focus on the following five stages of the “hydraulic fracturing water cycle” to evaluate potential impacts on the quality and quantity of drinking water:
- Water acquisition: What are the possible impacts of large volume water withdrawals from ground and surface waters?
- Chemical mixing: What are the possible impacts of hydraulic fracturing fluid surface spills on or near well pads?
- Well injection: What are the possible impacts of the injection and fracturing process?
- Flowback and produced water: What are the possible impacts of flowback and produced water (collectively referred to as “hydraulic fracturing wastewater”) surface spills on or near well pads?
- Wastewater treatment and waste disposal: What are the possible impacts of inadequate treatment of hydraulic fracturing wastewater
So, why the big hurry to get a permit to frack in St. Tammany Parish? If the investors in oil and gas projects are murmuring, “Just wait ’til December,” it’s our guess that as soon as the December 2014 EPA study sees the light of day, the public outcry could kill any chance a project like this has to succeed. Maybe we’re wrong. If so, why not wait until January 2015 after the facts are out?