dying planet


I do not think I have to say much more than damn!

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/since-first-earth-day-u.s.-temps-marching-upward-17330

Since 1st Earth Day, U.S. Temps Marching Upward

Published: April 22nd, 2014

Research Report by Climate Central

U.S. Warming Fast Since 1st Earth DaySome States Warming at Twice Global RateClick on a state to see annual temperature increase since 1970

It’s been 44 years since the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, and since that time, average temperatures have been rising across the U.S. This Climate Central interactive graphic shows a state-by-state analysis of those temperature trends.

Average temperatures across most of the continental U.S. have been rising gradually for more than a century, at a rate of about 0.127°F per decade between 1910-2012. That trend parallels an overall increase in average global temperatures, which is largely the result of human greenhouse gas emissions. While global warming isn’t uniform, and some regions are warming faster than others, since the 1970s, warming across the U.S. has accelerated, previously shown in our report The Heat is On. Since then, every state’s annual average temperature has risen accordingly. On average, temperatures in the contiguous 48 states have been warming at a rate of 0.48°F per decade since 1970, nearly twice the global average.

Delaware and Wisconsin are tied as the fastest-warming states since 1970, warming at a rate of 0.67°F per decade. Average annual temperatures in the two states are about 3°F warmer than they were 44 years ago. Vermont, New Jersey, and Michigan are warming nearly as fast, and all are warming about twice as fast as the global average. The slowest-warming states are Washington, Georgia, Florida, and Oregon – warming just more than 0.3°F per decade since 1970 — and are on pace with average global temperatures.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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that the Species of Homosapien would be burned off the face of the planet. I figured that would happen in maybe 30 years. People wrote in and said I was exaggerating. They said I was doing my cause “no good” by stating things so radically. I believe the same thing now, but I think is coming more rapidly and could have a significant impact by 2020. Yes! Everything is speeding.

http://www.ipcc.ch/

Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)

 

The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) provides a clear and most up to date view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change. It comprises of three Working Group (WG) reports and a Synthesis Report (SYR) which integrates and synthesize material in the WG reports for policymakers. The SYR will be finalized 31st of October 2015. Further information about the outline and content and how the AR5 has been prepared can be found in the AR5 reference document and SYR Scoping document, AR5 page and on the websites of the WGs.

Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change

 

The Working Group III contribution assesses the options for mitigating climate change and their underlying technological, economic and institutional requirements. It transparently lays out risks, uncertainty and ethical foundations of climate change mitigation policies on the global, national and sub-national level, investigates mitigation measures for all major sectors and assesses investment and finance issues.

Quick Link to Report and other AR5 volumes
Working Group III Report website

Summary for Policymakers (English)

 

Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

The Working Group II contribution considers the vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems, the observed impacts and future risks of climate change, and the potential for and limits to adaptation. The chapters of the report assess risks and opportunities for societies, economies, and ecosystems around the world.

Video
Quick Link to Report and other AR5 volumes
Working Group II Report website

Summary for Policymakers (English)

 

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Go there and get really scared. More next week.

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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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Go there and comment. More tomorrow.

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Invariably it is to hide things that hurt people or hurt the planet. Usually both.

 

Day 38   12/22/13    

Today’s Topic:  Determining if water pollution has occurred

Comment:

Section 1-80 of the Act governing Water Quality Monitoring provides a list of indicator chemicals that would suggest water contamination has occurred but doesn’t limit what may be tested for.  In fact, this section of the law states that “Sampling shall, at a minimum, be consistent with the work plan and allow for a determination of whether any hydraulic fracturing additive or other contaminant has caused pollution or diminution for purposes of Sections 1-83 and 1-85 of this Act.”

Section 1-85 of the Act governing the presumption of pollution or diminution does not limit the sources of sampling data that may be used to prove the pollution or diminution has occurred.

And yet, the IDNR Rules in Section 245.620 have narrowed the statutory basis for the presumption, treating Section 1-80’s list of “indicator chemicals” as a comprehensive list of what should be tested for.  The 1-80 parameters are intended to be INDICATORS of the presence of contamination from hydraulic fracturing, not an exclusive list of the possible contaminating constituents.  There are over 700 chemicals used in fracking.  1-80 lists only a handful of them.  A reasonable person would conclude that if a chemical other than those on the list of indicator chemicals was found and that chemical was part of the list of chemicals in the fracking operator’s work plan, then the operator would be presumed to be responsible for that contamination.

Revisions Needed:  Section 245.620 must reflect the intent of the law that the operator will be responsible for any pollution or diminution caused by fracking.  This responsibility will not be limited to a list of indicator chemicals but will include all chemicals used in the fracturing process.

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Please spare the people of Illinois of having the burden of Fracking disasters placed on their shoulders.

 

 

There was a full house–over 200– at the Carbondale IDNR hearing last night.  That makes over 1000 concerned Illinoisans have attended IDNR hearings against the weak IDNR fracking rules–many of them providing testimony.  IDNR and JCAR, are you listening?

Today (Friday) 12/20/13) is Day 36 of the comment period.

Today’s Topic: Starting the clock over when deficiencies are identified at, or as a result of, the hearing.

Comment:

Subsection 245.270(n), allows the applicant to attempt to correct deficiencies identified at the hearing, but places no time limit on such correction.  It also doesn’t require the Department to provide public notice of such correction. As such, applicants could, in principle, provide information to the Department on Day 59 of the 60-day permit issuance period, and the public would not find out about it until long after the permit had been issued.

Revisions Needed: This provision should specify a time window for applicants to provide corrections. It should also provide that the post- hearing public comment period must remain open for a sufficient number of days after that time window in order to provide the public adequate time to meaningfully review and comment on those corrections. It would not be unreasonable for deficiencies to be viewed as an incomplete application requiring that the 60-day clock start over.

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Go there and comment. More tomorrow.

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I do not know about the Dirty Dozen concept but the points are important and well made.

 

 

Four weeks ago today, IDNR released their weak fracking rules.  Many of you have been making comments every day.  THANK YOU!

For today’s comment, we’re switching things up a bit.  As we prepare for the Decatur, IL hearing and meetings with JCAR, we have put together what we are calling the “Dirty Dozen.” We believe these are the most egregious rules that pose a significant risk to public health, aquatic life, wildlife, or the environment. Read our “Dirty Dozen” and choose any one of them to make your comment for the day.  If you aren’t sure which radio button to choose or which Section is appropriate, just make your best guess.  IDNR tells us they will not reject a comment for being in the wrong Subpart or Section.

COME TO THE DECATUR IDNR MEETING

The Decatur hearing will be this coming Tuesday, December 17, at the Decatur Civic Center from 6:30-8:30.  Are you coming?   We have buses coming from Peoria, Bloomington and Springfield.  If you want to ride the bus, scroll down for information on the buses.

Will you testify?  Please consider testifying using one of the “Dirty Dozen” as the base of your testimony.  Choose a comment from the list, tell the IDNR Hearing Officer what is wrong with that Rule and then explain why this is personal to you in your own words.  For example,

  • “I am a nurse and the issue of keeping chemicals secret from medical professionals is an issue to me because it will impact the kind of care I can give someone who lives near a fracking operation and comes in with symptoms but doesn’t know what fracking chemical they were exposed to.”  OR
  • “I am a farmer and I need to protect my farmland from migrating water pollution from horizontal drilling legs that could run under my farm.” OR
  • “I am a grandmother and I want to make sure the water my grandchildren drink isn’t laced with chemicals and radioactivity.”

Translate the talking points into your own voice. Write it down so that you can submit it to IDNR at the end of the hearing.  Don’t worry about not being an expert on the subject.  You are an expert in your own life and IDNR needs to hear that citizens throughout Illinois aren’t happy about what’s happening with fracking.

BUSES

These are the times that buses will LEAVE for the hearing, so please, plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to departure with empty bladders and printed copies of your testimony!  Please eat before you come or bring a sack dinner.

  • 4:00 pm- Peoria – U.U. Church of Peoria – 3000 W. Richwood Blvd.
  • 5:00 pm- Bloomington – IPA Office -510 E. Washington
  • 5:00 pm- Springfield – First Presbyterian Church – 321 S. 7th St.

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Go there and comment. More today.

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Why are we even messing around with this stuff. Colorado already demands recycling and Oklahoma make drillers bottle the natural gas. Why are we providing a lower standard of treatment of the Earth then other places.

 

Today’s Topic:  Discrepancies between the law and the rules on how long open-air pits can be used to store flowback.
  • Go to: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/OilandGas/Pages/OnlineCommentSubmittalForm.aspx
  • Click the button: Subpart H: High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing Preparations and Operations (245.800-245.870)
  • In the “Section” dropdown box, click: Section 245.850  Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid and Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Storage, Disposal or Recycling, Transportation and Reporting Requirements
  • Submit your comment/s (below)
  • Click “Submit”
Section 1-75 of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulator Act mandates that “excess hydraulic fracturing flowback captured for temporary storage in a reserve pit as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection must be removed from the well site within 7 days.”
But Section 245.850 of the proposed rules states, “Any excess hydraulic fracturing flowback captured for temporary storage in a reserve pit as provided in Section 245.825 must be removed from the well site or transferred to storage in above-ground tanks for later disposal or recycling within 7 days after completion of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations.”
Problem:  The amendment of “after completion of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations” opens the door for the potential abuse of emergency pits.  Storage in closed tanks can be costly for the industry.  An unscrupulous operator wanting to cut costs could simply claim that there was more flowback than expected and end up using open pits for storage for the duration of the fracking process.
The clear intent of the statute is to ensure that wastewater is stored in tanks except in the emergency event of an unforeseeable overflow, in which case it is preferable that the overflow go to a pit than simply spill on the ground. But in such event, the overflow is expressly required in the statute to be removed within a week. Through omission and misinterpretation, the regulations are not implementing this statutory directive.
Section 245.210(a)(11), requires that an applicant submit a Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids and Flowback Plan.  The plan does not include requirements to ensure that tank capacity is accurately calculated. Without such method, there is nothing in the regulations to prevent operators from underestimating the size of the tanks they need, so as to make routine use of the reserve pit for the resulting overflows. Operators presumably have an economic incentive to do so in order to hold down the cost of tank storage.
Compounding this incentive is the Department’s weakening of the statutory directive that fluids deposited in a reserve pit be removed within 7 days (Section 1-75(c)(5). The regulations fail to require such prompt removal, allowing, at subsection 245.850(c), the overflow to remain in the reserve pits until 7 days “after completion of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations.” Certainly on a multi-well pad, hydraulic fracturing operations can continue for a month or more, meaning that the flowback fluid could be left sitting in the reserve pit, creating environmental risk, for much longer than a week.
Revisions needed:  First, require that drillers anticipate appropriate sized tanks for sufficient storage of flowback and produced water by establishing a method for tank capacity calculation. Second, clarify that wastewater must be removed from the pit within 7 days of the event that triggered the use of the pit rather than 7 days after fracking operations are complete, in accordance with the law.
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Go there and comment. More tomorrow.

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What do we want a Bhopal right here in the Midwest? In Illinois?

 

 

Today (Friday,12/7/13)  is Day 22 of the Comment Period of IDNR. 

Today’s coment is on Regulatory Exemption of Fracking Operations Predating the Passage of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act

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

Click Radio Button: Subpart 245.100

Section: 245.100 Applicability

Problem:

The draft rules (Sec. 245.100) apply only to fracking operations occurring since June 17, 2013, while the original regulatory act clearly mandates that the provisions in the act apply to past, current, and future wells.

Specifically, Section 1-20 of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act passed earlier this year states that the Act “applies to all wells where high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations are planned, have occurred, or are occurring in this State”.

The existence and presumed necessity of the rules is clear evidence that unregulated fracking poses a significant risk to the health and safety of Illinois citizens and their environment. Hence, it makes no sense for IDNR to intentionally limit the scope of the rules to apply only to new fracking operations, while bypassing regulations on old wells. One might even argue that older wells–given both their age and the lack of regulations at the time of their construction– would merit greater attention from regulatory agencies.

Revisions Needed:

  1. Require all fracking companies to report any prior fracking activities that fall under the definition of “high volume hydraulic fracturing”, regardless of when the activity occurred.
  2. Ensure that past operations comply with the regulations outlined by IDNR to the furthest extent possible. For example, while it would not make sense for an operator to go back and re-perform drilling activities that did not conform to the Act, it should require compliance of ongoing obligations mandated by the rules – such as air emissions control requirements associated with production, post-frack testing and reporting, etc.

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Go there and comment. More today.

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I mean, think about it. Why are we doing this stuff again?

 

Today (Monday, 12/2/13) is Day 18 of the IDNR Comment Period on Fracking.  Welcome back from the Thanksgiving Holiday!  If you missed making comments, please go back through your e-mail and catch up.  We covered some important information over the weekend including inadequate bonds to cover accidents and corporate negligence (Thursday),  local control of water (Friday), definition of “Aquatic Life” (Saturday) and the definition of “Competitive Value” compared with the public’s right to know (Sunday.)  The next few days, we will be covering the topic of Radioactivity in depth.  It’s fairly technical information but very important.  So please make your comments every day!

Day 18 

Topic – Radioactivity in fracking operations: Produced Water Needs to Be Tested for Radioactivity

  • Go to: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/OilandGas/Pages/OnlineCommentSubmittalForm.aspx
  • Click the button: Subpart H: High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing Preparations and Operations (245.800-245.870)
  • In the “Section” dropdown box, click 245.850 Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid and Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Storage, Disposal or Recycling, Transportation and Reporting Requirements
  • Submit your comment/s (below)
  • Click “Submit”

Comment/Problem(s)/Needed Revisions:

Subsection (d)(1) of Section 245.850 provides for testing of fracking fluids only one time–during the early flowback stage–and only for “naturally occurring radioactive materials.”

Notably absent from these proposed rules is a requirement for the testing of “produced water”, the fluid that returns from the well during the later stage of production (after flowback).  Under the proposed rules, “produced water” can be stored on site and/or can be “recycled”, yet there is no testing requirement.

Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) is found in “produced water” also.  See Technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials in the oil industry (TENORM), Nukleonika 2009; 54(1):3?9, and sources cited therein, especially for TENORM in produced water in the U.S., available at http://www.nukleonika.pl/www/back/full/vol54_2009/v54n1p003f.pdf.  See also

NORM is also found on scale in oil pipes and on fracking equipment.  (See Kentucky Resources Council Proposes Comprehensive Plan For Investigating Radiological Contamination In Martha Oil Field.  August 11, 2005.   http://www.kyrc.org/webnewspro/112381723236086.shtml.)

IDNR’s definitions of “flowback water” and “produced water” are different.  The two are distinguishably different enough that they are treated as separate types of fluid by both the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act and by the DNR Rules.  Discharge of produced water onto the ground or into surface water or water drainage way is prohibited but it is not tested for radioactivity.  This despite the fact that this fluid will be in contact with the naturally occurring radioactive elements in the ground for a longer period that the flowback and that it is much more likely to be radioactive.

Problems:  Failure to test produced water for radioactivity is problematic for a variety of reasons including:

  1. The health and safety of workers on the site who will be unaware of the levels of radioactivity they are being exposed to.
  2. The health and safety of workers transporting produced water who will also be in the dark regarding the levels of radioactivity they will be exposed to.
  3. The risk of storing radioactive material in tanks not created for storing radioactive materials.
  4. The risk of “recycling” produced water—radioactivity cannot be removed by recycling.
  5. The risk to the public in transporting radioactive materials

Argonne National Laboratory recently cautioned about radiological doses:  “It is commonly accepted that efforts should be undertaken at all times to keep radiological doses ‘as low as reasonably achievable,’ which is referred to as the ALARA principle or requirement.”  Overview of Radiological Dose and Risk Assessment (April 2011).  DNR is failing to even adequately test for radioactivity and therefore, will not know the levels of radioactivity.  How, then, can DNR adequately protect workers and the general public?

Revisions needed:

At a bare minimum, the rules should require that “produced water” be tested at two separate intervals across time for radioactivity.  This is already required in Pennsylvania. The rules should also require that the requirements of the Illinois Low Level Radioactivity Waste Management Act be followed.

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The whole United States is drought prone now. We dirty up to much fresh waster. We drink alot through inefficient drinking water systems. Springfield’s ancient system wastes as much as it delivers and we just came through a serious drought. Now we want to waste water on fracking? Really? No Way!

 

Today (Friday, 11/29/13) is Day 15 of the IDNR Comment Period on Fracking.  Please don’t miss making a comment today on the very important topic of water!

Topic – Inadequate Water Plans and Local Control of Water in Permitting Process

  • Click the button: Subpart B:  Registration and Permitting Procedures
  • In the “Section” dropdown box, click:  245.210 Permit Application Requirements
  • Submit your comment/s (below)
  • Click “Submit”

Subpart B:  Regulations and Permitting

Section 245.210 Permit Application Requirements

Section 245.210 requires permit applicants to submit: a Water Source Management plan: “If fresh water is anticipated to be used in the high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing treatment, a water source management plan that shall include the following information:” (source of ground or surface water, how much water to be used, months of use, methods to minimize fresh water use, methods used to minimize adverse impact to aquatic life).

Problems with this section:

  1. While there is a required water management plan, this plan does not require application to local municipal, water district or other governmental control units requesting use of their ground or surface water resources.  In fact, if fracking is allowed, local government has no authority to deny water to a frack well operator, even in the case of drought.
  2. There is no process for sharing the frack operator’s water plan with other state or regional agencies responsible for water usage (e.g. Illinois EPA, East Central IL Regional Water Supply Planning Committee) for their input on whether the plan is adequate, and how usage relates to possible drought situations.
  3. There are no minimum regulatory thresholds regarding the amount of water to be used, the impact of water use given drought situations, actual impact on aquatic life, impact on existing human, industrial and agricultural water immediate needs, and potential future impacts.

Why these are problems:

  1. The IDNR report The Drought of 2012, March 2013 identified:
  1. In 2012, the 12 counties of southern IL–where the majority of fracking leases have been obtained–experienced “D4 drought – exceptional”, the most severe drought rating.  From July to December 2012 the area was in continuous drought.
  2. Two of three local areas identified as “at risk public water supply” are in potential frack operation counties (Macon, Johnson, IL).  These counties were identified in an IL EPA 2012 drought report as having Community Water Systems most stressed by the drought.
  1. A report by the East Central IL Regional Water Supply Planning Committee identified:
  1. Springfield has a greater than 50% probability their water system will be unable to meet projected water use with a drought of record.
  2. By 2020, Bloomington and Decatur’s water systems will be inadequate to meet demand.
  1. The average water use by a frack operator is significant and will have an impact on water usage.  According to federal EPA, the average frack uses 4.4 million gallons of water.  And wells can be fracked multiple times.

Needed changes:

  1. Any governmental unit that involves itself in local or regional water issues must review the frack operator water source management plan with the power to affirm, reject or modify the plan.
  2. If a county or geographic area is identified as being in a drought, frack operations will cease.
  3. IDNR must develop scientifically based high minimum, specific standards of water usage protecting existing human, agricultural and industrial use.  A frack operator’s water source management plan must adhere to these formal standards.

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