But it sounds nasty to me. And then there is the use of Acid. This is really ugly stuff.
Today (Sunday, 12/8/13) is Day 24 of the Comment Period of IDNR. We’re almost half-way through the comment period. Please keep making your comments daily!
Today’s Topic: Non-water and partial water fracks must be regulated based on risk, not volume
The law defines “high volume” fracking based on the number of gallons of base fluid” (at least 80,000 gallons per stage and 300,000 gallons total). While this definition may be applicable if the fracking base is a fluid such as water, it leaves a gaping hole when gas (e.g. nitrogen, carbon dioxide) or a mixture of gas and water (foam fracks, mist fracks), are used. And defining high volume fracking this way is especially critical in relation to Illinois’ New Albany shale where other bases are likely to be used; nitrogen gas and mist fracking is already occurring just across the border in Kentucky’s New Albany shale.
Problem: Gallons are units of volume used to measure liquids. But what if a liquid isn’t used in fracking? Not all fracking base material can be measured by gallons. If non-water base fluids are accounted for as liquid gallons, the gallonage total will fall below the threshold whereby the fracking operation will be considered “high volume hydraulic fracturing”, even though the operation is comparable in scale – and therefore risk – to a high volume water-based frack in terms of chemical use, pressures, or other measures.
The Department needs to come up with an appropriate means to express the threshold of applicability as it applies to non-water fracks. The key parameter for developing a comparable threshold should be identifying comparable risk. Simply converting the water-based thresholds from gallons to cubic feet or another unit of volume appropriate to measure gases would be completely arbitrary and wholly divorced from the real environmental and health risks posed by such non-water fracks. Thresholds for gas-based fracks must be developed independently based on an evaluation of risk and field data from gas-based fracks.
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Go there and comment. More tomorrow.