wild animals


Well that makes sense because humans are driving themselves to extinction.

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059995434

ENDANGERED SPECIES:

FWS finalizes ‘landmark’ lesser prairie chicken protections from drilling

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized a voluntary agreement designed to protect the lesser prairie chicken and its dwindling habitat from oil and gas drilling activity as the deadline approaches for the service to decide whether to list the colorful bird as threatened.

FWS and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) announced late Friday that they had signed the formal agreement, called the Range-wide Oil and Gas Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances.

Landowners and companies that enroll in the Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances (CCAA) through WAFWA agree to take steps to protect lesser prairie chicken habitat and to pay a mitigation fee if their actions harm the bird’s habitat. In exchange, the service agrees not to impose any further restrictions or mandates on the participants if the bird is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I know this area is where the mantra – Government is BAD was born. Mainly because of integration and the regulation of tobacco. This attack on all things paid for by taxes has continued unabated for the last 60 years. But really, 2 major rivers have suffer significant contamination in the past month and nothing has been done? Nothing. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and now North Carolina and Virginia, and no legislation has been proposed. We do not even have testing to find out what these contaminates really are and no studies in the chemical to say even what the chemical does. Really?

http://news.yahoo.com/nc-river-turns-gray-sludge-coal-ash-spill-024204513.html

NC river turns to gray sludge after coal ash spill

Associated Press

ON THE DAN RIVER, N.C. (AP) — Canoe guide Brian Williams dipped his paddle downstream from where thousands of tons of coal ash has been spewing for days into the Dan River, turning the wooden blade flat to bring up a lump of gray sludge.

On the riverbank, hundreds of workers at a Duke Energy power plant in North Carolina scrambled to plug a hole in a pipe at the bottom of a 27-acre pond where the toxic ash was stored.

Since the leak was first discovered by a security guard Sunday afternoon, Duke estimates up to 82,000 tons of ash mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water has spilled into the river. Officials at the nation’s largest electricity provider say they cannot provide a timetable for when the leak will be fully contained, though the flow has lessened significantly as the pond has emptied.

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And earlier this was West Virginia.

Federal grand jury investigates West Virginia chemical spill

By Drew Griffin. David Fitzpatrick and Patricia DiCarlo CNN

(CNN) — A federal grand jury investigation has been launched into the West Virginia chemical spill that left 300,000 people unable to use their water supply, CNN learned Tuesday.

Sources familiar with the grand jury’s activities tell CNN that subpoenas have been issued requiring testimony for what one federal official confirms is a criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, an independent water test conducted at CNN’s request has found trace levels of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, remain in both untreated river water and tap water from two homes in Charleston.

The results by TestAmerica found the chemical is within the safe level of 1 part per million set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; whether that level is safe is disputed

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Go there and read. More next week.

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No Frackers will go to jail if they violate WHAT LAWS? IDNR might as well give away the state of Illinois to being totally trashed. Where will the Fracking start? In our State Parks?

Day 49   1/2/13

Topic:  Fines penalties, suspensions and revocations

For regulations to work, levied fines must exceed the financial benefit a company gains by violating the rules. None of the rulemaking sanctions meet this criterion. This results in the other 150 pages of rules being essentially meaningless because they will be ignored.   The draft rule sanctions place the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (HFRA)  on the road to failure before the first permit is issued.

Examples:

  1. Section 1-100(b) of the law specifies misdemeanor and felony criminal charges for a number of violations of the law.  Yet there are NO criminal charges in the rules
  2. In Section 1-60(a)1-6 of the law, there are six (6) grounds for suspension or revocation of a permit.  These are re-listed with a 7th in section 245.1100 of the rules.  But the very next  section of the Rules–245.1110–reduces the grounds for an immediate permit suspension to one: “an emergency condition posing a significant hazard to the public health, aquatic life, wildlife or the environment.” This is the most stringent requirement of the seven grounds listed in section 245.1100.  Why bother to list seven possible grounds for permit suspension or revocation in section 245.1100 if you then require the Department to identify the most stringent criteria for an immediate suspension.
  3. Section 1-60(b) of the law requires a much lower standard of proof to suspend, revoke or deny a permit than the rules (245.1110).  Under the law, the Department need only serve notice of its action (to suspend, revoke or deny), including a statement of the reasons for the action.
  4. In the law, if a well operator’s permit has been suspended, the burden of proof is on well operator to prove that the identified problem is “no significant threat to public health, aquatic life, wildlife, or the environment” [Section 1-60(d)].  In the rules, this phrase becomes something IDNR must prove before ordering a permit suspension [Rule Section 245.1100(b)3A].
  5. Sections 1-100 and 1-101 of the law have some stiff penalties that accrue on a daily basis until the reason for the fine is corrected.  These fines can go as high as $50,000 per violation and up to $10,000 per day.  These are replaced by fines so trivial ($50-$2500) that it will cost the IDNR more to impose and collect a fine than the dollar value of the fine itself.

Revisions Needed:  Return to the standards of the law with regard to fines, penalties and revocations.

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
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Go there and comment. We are done with this.
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Just take a look at all the gaping holes the other extraction industry have left in Illinois. Their are parts of Illinois that look like the 10,000 lakes area in Minnesota that used to be valuable farmland. This will be no different.

Day 46  12/30/13

Topic:  Topsoil Replacement Requirements

Comment:

Sections 1-70(b)2 and 1-95(c) of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act state that stripped topsoil is to be replaced with similar soil and the site returned to its pre-drilling condition.

Section 1-95(c) of the Act specifically states: “The operator shall restore any lands used by the operator other than the well site and production facility to a condition as closely approximating the pre-drilling conditions that existed before the land was disturbed for any stage of site preparation activities, drilling, and high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations.”

When drilling is anticipated to be completed in less than a year, Section 245.410(d) of the Rules stipulates that the topsoil is to stockpiled and stabilized to prevent erosion.  However, “In the event it is anticipated that the final reclamation shall take place in excess of one year from drilling the well, the topsoil may be disposed of in any lawful manner provided the permittee reclaims the site with topsoil of similar characteristics of the topsoil removed.”

What is missing, and needed, in this section of the Rules is the stipulation that the replacement topsoil will be not only similar in characteristics of the topsoil removed, but also match the removed topsoil in VOLUME.   In fact, there is no place in the rules that requires measurement of the topsoil removed or measurement of the replacement topsoil.  Without such a requirement, it would be easy for an unscrupulous operator to replace the topsoil with smaller quantities than were originally removed.

Revisions Needed:  When final reclamation is anticipated to exceed one year and topsoil is removed from the site, Section 245.410(d) must require measuring the volume of the removed topsoil and stipulate that the replacement topsoil will match both the quality AND quantity of the removed topsoil.

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Go there and comment. More tomorrow.

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I participated in an emergency enactment of a possible New Madrid  quake in which St. Louis suffered major damage. This event was held in St. John Hospital’s parking lot. I was a volunteer person, who was pressed into service as gurney “pusher and puller” having no medical skills. The drill went like this. A helicopter would fly in (there were ten supplied by the Missouri and Illinois Guard) and the survivors where lifted off the helicopter on hand carried stretchers laid on the ground in a triage area. There were three treatment areas in the parking lot, one for broken bones treatable without surgery, one for moderate puncture wounds, and one for moderate trauma of many types. So I did the helicopter deal for a while which was pretty hard work. After about 10 helicopters I was pretty beat, so they put me on gurney duty which was a LOT easier. So what couldn’t be treated in the short term areas were put on gurneys (it helped if the survivors where a little ambulatory) and pushed/pulled them into the hospital to either the emergency room which got those not needing immediate surgery and the immediate surgery ones were taken to surgery on the third floor and another floor (4) which had been converted to surgical suits. The buses with refugees started arriving at noon. They did not have enough volunteers to be refugees so to simulate the scenario each seat on the bus was filled with individual supplies (personal hygiene, blankets, clothes if needed, food packets etc.)  and then the bus was driven to the State Fair Grounds where tents were being erected. This went on until 5 o’clock. I was told by one of the coordinators that he thought the activity would have gone on for at least 4 or 5 days nonstop. In this scenario there was only mild damage to Springfield and Litchfield but pretty much everything in southern Illinois and St. Louis/South Central Missouri was destroyed.

 

Day 31 of the IDNR Comment Period

Our server will be down for routine maintenance tomorrow so we are sending the comment for tomorrow (Sunday)–a little early.  You won’t want to miss commenting on this one:

Topic: The risk of large scale environmental disasters

Section 1-53 of the regulatory bill requires that fracking operations be conducted in a “manner that will protect the public health and safety and prevent pollution.”  And yet, the rules do not address the risk of large-scale and widespread environmental disasters that can occur as a result of fracking in the Wabash Valley and New Madrid Earthquake Zones or in the Illinois 100-year floodplain.

The New Madrid Earthquake zone has been known to historically cause “major” earthquakes of over 7 on the Richter magnitude scale.  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency itself identifies these areas with its most severe earthquake zone ratings of “Destructive” and “Ruinous.” An earthquake of these magnitudes, compounded with fracking and injection wells spread throughout the affected zone is quite literally, a recipe for disaster.

Furthermore earthquakes of these magnitudes can easily damage fracking wells, open air pits, pipelines, injection wells – causing toxic and radioactive fracking fluids to pour out into the ground and contaminate the soil and groundwater sources of hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans. Even Ohio Governor, John Kasich, a fracking advocate, has issued an executive order requiring operators to conduct seismic studies before the state will issue well permits.

Similarly, allowing any sort of fracking operations to occur within the Illinois 100 year floodplain zone is also asking for disaster. The environmental devastation caused by the recent floods in Colorado is a case in point. Inundated oil pads, flooded wells, overturned tanks, and ruptured lines were just a few of problems experienced in Colorado as a result of wide-scale flooding. A damaged oil tank dumped 5,250 gallons of oil into the South Platte River south of Milliken, Colorado on 9/18/13 during the flood.   The South Platte River, extends to Nebraska and then filters into the Ogallala Aquifer which serves much of the middle of the country.

Open-air pits—which the Rules allow—are particularly vulnerable in a flood. When open-air pits fill with water, there is nothing covering the surface to prevent the fracking wastewater from spilling out of the pit and into the floodwaters, exposing every living thing downstream to the chemicals, brine, radioactivity, etc. that was in the pit.

  • Solution:
    • Avoid fracking in active seismic zones and flood plains.

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Go there and comment. More soon.

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Run little doggies, run for the hills, but if you are a fish you are pretty much dead.

 

Today (Saturday, 11/30/13) is Day 16 of the IDNR Comment Period on Fracking.  Thanks for hanging in there with us even on this holiday weekend!

Day 16  USED 11/30/13

Topic:  Definition of “Aquatic Life” is too narrow

  • Click the button: Subpart A: General Provisions
  • In the “Section” dropdown box, click:  245.110 Definitions
  • Submit your comment/s (below)
  • Click “Submit”

Section 245.110 Section 245.110 of the Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act administrative rules, states: “Aquatic life” means all fish, reptiles, amphibians, crayfish, and mussels.

Problems with this section:

  1. This definition is too narrow and does not include many other species that may be important to an aquatic ecosystem.  Aquatic life cannot be understood apart from the larger aquatic ecosystem which sustains it.
  2. Freshwater ecosystems (limnology) not only include fauna, but also flora (plants), micro/macro invertebrates, oxygen levels and algae, for example.

Why these are problems:

  1. Exclusively focusing on a limited definition of “aquatic life” unnecessarily narrows the impact to the larger ecosystem that sustains it.
  2. By the time a fish kill occurs pollution caused by fracking will have reached a critical stage, causing havoc across the larger ecosystem.
  3. It neglects the biological criteria for the protection of aquatic life.

Revisions Needed:

  1. The definition of “aquatic life” must be broadened to include “aquatic ecosystems”.
  2. Specific scientific standards must be developed to include:  a) Biological standards, b) High quality water resources, c) Modified or limited water resources, and d) Stressor identification.

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Go there and comment. More tomorrow/

 

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Will Chevron have wells in Illinois? Probably not.  They are to busy illegally fracking their wells off of California’s shoreline. But chatting them up can’t hurt.

Day 1 on 11/15/13

Topic: Who can and can’t testify and public hearings when fracking permits are requested. 

 

Go to:   http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/OilandGas/Pages/OnlineCommentSubmittalForm.aspx

Radio Button: Subpart B: Registration and Permitting Procedures (245.200-245.270)

 

Comment: Because air and water travel freely, IDNR should not limit comments during public hearings to individuals living within 1500 feet of wells.  Toxins can travel far beyond 1500 feet via air and water.  Therefore, any person, regardless of where they live, should be allowed to testify.

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Go there and comment. More today.

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So what? So I am picking on the frackers by company name now. That is too bad. What have I got to lose?  Here is the second comment that IPA released. I am leaving the dates on their actual emails for authenticity’s sake.

 

Today (Monday, 11/18/2013) is Day 4 of the IDNR 45 day comment period on hydraulic fracturing, aka “fracking.”  Will you please send IDNR a comment today?  It will take less than 5 minutes of your time and we will walk you through the process.  If you are opposed to fracking and worried that the weak regulatory bill will not protect Illinois residents and the environment, please take action.

Today’s comment is on the lack of Studies, Reports, or Underlying Data Used to Compose Rulemaking

Here’s what to do to make your comment today:

This comment is in reference to Page 3, Paragraph 6 of the Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act administrative rules, which states: “Published studies or reports, and sources of underlying data, used to compose this rulemaking: None”.

Simply put, the State of Illinois cannot have sound regulation without good data.

There is significant need for further study of horizontal hydraulic fracturing technology prior to it’s use in the State of Illinois. If the technology was as safe as the industry is claiming, why do there continue to be so many accidents and violations in states where fracking is already occuring?

Suggested resources include the twenty-four (24) pages of “References” included in U.S. EPA’s December 2012 Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources.

See: U.S. EPA: Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources: Progress Report, (EPA 601/R-12/011 | December 2012), available at: http://www.epa.gov/hfstudy.

We would love it if you would let us know if you made a comment today!  And please feel free to call us with questions, comments, or to volunteer your time at (309) 827-9627.  Please share this with others you know and encourage them to make comments too.

In solidarity in the struggle for environmental justice,

Your friends at IPA

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Climatologists and weather people are always nattering on about how you can’t link global warming and a “particular’ WEATHER EVENT. Well I say that is super silly. This last hurricane to hit the Philippines (one of 4 already this season) was caused by global warming. I mean come on, the most powerful storm ever to strike land. When do adjectives like that add up to – caused by. Does the next biggest “ever” storm = global warming. Does a year of the “biggest” storms ever = global warming. Really when can I drop the parenthesis around all the adjectives and just say it out loud. Well I believe today is the day.

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/521536/20131112/climate-change-warsaw-global-warming-typhoon-haiyan.htm#.UoJYfOInN5r

Climate Change Talks: Philippine Representative in Tears Over Haiyan, Receives Standing Ovation

By Reissa Su | November 12, 2013 7:51 PM EST

Typhoon Haiyan has dampened the spirits of climate change negotiators in an international talk on global climate change treaty in Warsaw. Delegates from around the world quickly suggested that the monster typhoon that wreaked havoc in the Philippines was enhanced by global warming.

Typhoon Haiyan has left Vietnam and is now on its way to China at a reduced strength. The super storm has displaced over 600,000 families in the Philippines  leaving most of Tacloban City devastated.

Lead negotiator for an alliance of small island nations Olai Ngedikes said that Typhoon Haiyan should be a “stark reminder” of the lack of action among governments in the world. He said the typhoon should motivate climate change negotiators to push an agreement in Warsaw.

Philippine representative to the UN climate change talks, Naderev Sano said he would fast or refrain from eating in solidarity with typhoon victims or until a meaningful solution will be reached. Mr Sano said the effect of climate change is madness. He added they can put an end to the madness by arriving at an agreement in Warsaw.

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Go there and see the video. Go there and read. More next week.

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Some Anti-Fracking Activists Change Tactics, Tone

By KEVIN BEGOS and MICHAEL RUBINKAM 10/06/13

PITTSBURGH — PITTSBURGH (AP) — For years, activists have warned that fracking can have disastrous consequences — ruined water and air, sickened people and animals, a ceaseless parade of truck traffic.

Now some critics are doing what was once unthinkable: working with the industry. Some are even signing lucrative gas leases and speaking about the environmental benefits of gas.

In one northeastern Pennsylvania village that became a global flashpoint in the debate over fracking, the switch has raised more than a few eyebrows.

A few weeks ago, Victoria Switzer and other activists from Dimock endorsed a candidate for governor who supports natural gas production from gigantic reserves like the Marcellus Shale, albeit with more regulation and new taxes. Dimock was the centerpiece of “Gasland,” a documentary that galvanized opposition to fracking, and Switzer was also featured in this summer’s “Gasland Part II,” which aired on HBO.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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