by Max Brantley
Bombshell from KTHV if you care about the environment:
Roger Rorie, the mayor of Clinton says chemicals used in the fracking process to find natural gas have been discovered in the city water supply and an effort is underway to recover what apparently are barrels of chemicals dumped in a creek that provides city water. The EPA has been removing barrels since Thursday.
Calling Sen. Jason Rapert and the legislature's Shale Lobby. Needed quickly: An explanation of how this must be some mistake. Gas exploration is ALWAYS safe, clean and a boon to all of Arkansas. Our regulation is comprehensive and effective in every way. Somebody is again trying to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
UPDATE: More from KUAR. The Department of Environmental Quality is already making excuses. Maybe these barrels got washed into the creek by flooding. OK, maybe so. But does anybody in the industry keep track and DO anything when barrels of chemicals get washed away? And if floods washed away barrels, anybody have any idea about the waste pits scattered around Arkansas? Still unknown what, exactly, was in the barrels. Fox 16 says some are labeled "drilling fluid." Some were sealed, some were not. The state says city water will be tested as will the contents of the barrels, but nothing is yet known. No one has reported the loss of any barrels by flooding. ADEQ is taking the event "very seriously," the spokeswoman said.
In a related item, a Memphis law firm has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Arkansas families whose water has been contaminated by gas drilling. You can read the complaint here. Fox 16 also ran a story on the suit.