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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Public Comment Denied After State Finds BTEX & Unidentified Compounds in Drinking Water Investigation

by Melissa Troutman, Executive Director, Public Herald

this story is part 4 of 6 in the INVISIBLE HAND series which covers open meetings and the execution of local and state laws

UPDATED: (01/02/2016) included quote from Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel at Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, about options for citizens in the event of a believed violation to the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, and cited the section on objections under the act.

“After sitting through almost two hours of those presentations, there’s no way I’m using my water,” said a resident of the North Hollow JKLM Energy investigation who attended a meeting to be assured their water was safe to drink.
On a Thursday morning in Potter County, Pennsylvania from 10 a.m. to noon when most people were at work, a public meeting held by county commissioners failed to provide opportunity for public comment regarding contamination to drinking water supplies.
Potter County Public Meeting on JKLM Investigation

Potter County Commissioners, the Department of Environmental Protection, and JKLM Energy present to the public about the North Hollow water contamination investigation three months after the start of the pollution. Read the series of stories published by Public Herald at © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

“The meeting should have been divided up so there was equal time for presentation and public comment,” said the North Hollow resident, who’s drinking water had been investigated. In an interview with Public Herald, the resident, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time, looked back on their choice to live in the area, saying “Our biggest goal in life was to have a piece of land and our own water well.”
The December 17th meeting was the first opportunity the public had to comment on results of a three-month ongoing investigation by state regulators and JKLM representatives. In September 2015, the company illegally injected unapproved chemicals underground during drilling operations — chemicals that are typically used for fracking — that ended up contaminating groundwater and surface water in Sweden Township, near the borough of Coudersport, prompting two public water supplies to also be shut down.

Potter County Commissioner Doug Morley (left) watches the JKLM presentation while commissioner Paul Heimel (right) takes notes. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

At the meeting county commissioners attempted to restrict discourse to notecards, having attendees submit their written questions to commissioners rather than providing time for public comment. Public Herald Editor-in-chief made an objection to the notecards, citing the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act requirement for public participation.
“Any person has the right to raise an objection at any time to a perceived violation of this chapter at any meeting of a board or council of a political subdivision or an authority created by a political subdivision.” Pennsylvania Sunshine Act 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 710.1. Public participation
The objection later caused the commissioners to open the floor for discussion, two minutes before the meeting’s scheduled end. But the opportunity was stymied by oil and gas attorneys — one stating it was not a public hearing — and the other who helped one commissioner find words to close the meeting, ending the public comment period.
Jessica Songster O&G Attorney

Oil and gas attorney Jessica Songster, pictured here (right) at a September JKLM emergency meeting, prompted Commissioner Doug Morley to “thank people for coming.” Morley then closed the meeting. DEP representatives, JKLM representatives, county officials and local water specialists all promptly left the room. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

A failure to provide for public comment is a violation of the Sunshine Act, “The Sunshine Act requires the opportunity for public comment at every advertised regular and special meeting. So, there has to be an opportunity for public comment.”
That’s Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel at Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.
Public Herald asked Melewsky if providing notecards and pencils for people to submit questions for county commissioners to read would be sufficient opportunity for public comment.
“No,” she said. “Public comment is not ‘public question’ – not the same thing. In order to give public comment, you don’t have to phrase it as a question. You can say, ‘I disagree with what you’re doing.’
“For public comment, you open it up to anyone in attendance, and they can limit to taxpayers and residents, to get up and say their piece, that may or may not be in the form of a question. You can’t limit public comment to questions only.”
Melewsky further pointed out that an open meeting happens when a quorum of officials are present with deliberation:
“It’s any deliberation of agency business. A deliberation of agency business is defined broadly: it’s the discussion of agency business held for the purpose of making a decision…issues that are ongoing in the county would be agency business.”
The Digital Media Law Project of Harvard University says an open meeting must have three characteristics: be prearranged, have a quorum, and discuss or deliberate agency business.
The meeting was hosted by the Potter County Natural Gas Resource Center, formerly the Natural Gas Task Force, which was formed and is still operated by county commissioners since 2009 with a purpose “to oversee water quality, job training, public safety/emergency services, and municipal issues.” The “county-sponsored task force” combined with Potter County Education Council to become the Natural Gas Resource Center.

Potter County residents watch and listen to a presentation from DEP on the JKLM North Hollow complaint investigation held in Coudersport, PA. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

Trade Secrets: Regulating a Mystery

Back when groundwater was first contaminated in September, JKLM’s leadership declined to provide the full list of chemicals used by the company. At Thursday’s public meeting three months later, it became clear that JKLM had not known the chemical composition of the products it used. And no one can reveal a list that doesn’t exist.
“In order to begin the investigation quickly, we didn’t have time to analyze these products before we went out and starting sampling [water] sources. So we had to use some professional judgement looking at the information that was available to us on the SDS [Safety Data Sheet] and on the internet regarding these compounds,” explained JKLM’s hired environmental firm, Penn E&R.
“At this point I think it’s fair to say that we probably know as much about what’s in those products as the manufacturers do,” said Scott Blauvelt, Director of Regulatory Affairs for JKLM. [Emphasis added.]
However, even now that JKLM has a “very, very detailed chemical analysis,” the company is not revealing the full list of known chemical compounds or their amount. JKLM attorney John Sieminski went so far as to squash further questions regarding specific test results:
“We told you what we know about the chemical analysis,” Sieminski said. “It’s not concerning. End of story. Next question.”

“Unidentified Compounds,” BTEX and Plasticizers Detected in Water Samples

For the first time at the meeting since contamination began in September, DEP and JKLM revealed that BTEX compounds – otherwise known as Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene – have been discovered by both the department and the company during their investigations.
Penn E&R, the environmental company hired by JKLM to carry out an investigation, said that traces of ‘rock drill oil’ (also referrred to as ‘hammer bit oil’) were discovered in their water tests after a chemical makeup of the substance was determined:
“The hammer bit oil, again predominantly mineral-based, and it contained a number of compounds that you’d typically find in petroleum products. We did find some BTEX.”
DEP’s Bill Kosmer was uncertain about the actually amounts detected: “I don’t believe anything [was detected] over a standard, but they [BTEX] were there.” Neither DEP or JKLM revealed any specific test results despite “extensive, sophisticated” investigations.
DEP revealed it has investigated 14 complaints and confirmed that six private water supplies have been contaminated by JKLM Energy’s operations. Seven more water supplies are still under investigation.
“There were two additional complaints that did not want DEP involvement,” Kohl revealed in a December 21st email to Public Herald, bringing the complaint total to 16. Kohl also confirmed via email that DEP has “not received all of the information gathered by JKLM” about the chemical composition of the products that were used when contamination occurred.

GIF of Potter County complaint investigations from data publicly available at #fileroom. © Oz Gerard for Public Herald

“It is typically the product manufacturer’s decision to claim ingredients as trade secret or proprietary,” Kohl wrote.  “We did not reach out to the manufacturer directly to attempt to gain this information. We felt our efforts were better served by independently sampling the product and also sampling an extensive list of parameters in the potentially affected water supplies.”
“Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs)” were detected in at least two water supplies, according to DEP letters to homeowner that were shared with Public Herald. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, TICs are a “tool used by EPA to characterize hazardous sites. TIC analysis is a useful tool that can aid in clean-up or treatment decisions by identifying compounds that might otherwise be missed at the site.”
DEP neglected to reveal the detection of TICs in private water supplies during its public presentation.
In a letter sent to one homeowner, who called in a complaint on October 6th, DEP wrote that an investigation to the resident’s water supply is “ongoing” after TICs were detected along with high iron and turbidity.
In a determination letter sent to a separate homeowner, who called DEP for help on October 7th, DEP found TICs again. In both letters, DEP states “the presence of TICs are not considered absolute or confirmed by the laboratory, but rather, indicates a spike of a compound for which the instrument is not calibrated.” In this home’s water sample, DEP also reports finding Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, which is an organic compound commonly used as a plasticizer or “water reducer.”

DEP revealed during its presentation that the department found “two plasticizers” in water monitoring wells installed at JKLM’s well pad in addition to “the same sort of contaminants found at other sampling points, the MBAS, the BTEX.” The department neglected to reveal the specific names of those two plasticizers.
DEP stated at the meeting that it will continue to examine the presence of unidentified compounds and plasticizers.
“We’ll continue to look at them and see and try to understand if [lab contamination] is where they’re from or if it’s from something that was used on the pad. We haven’t drawn a formal conclusion on that,” DEP added.

Regulating A Mystery: When Is Water Really Safe To Drink?

With so many unknowns remaining, some residents are nervous. When Public Herald asked a resident why they wouldn’t drink the water, they explained:
“I have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. JKLM didn’t know what they put down that hole, and DEP is finding BTEX? That’s not good. What they did tell us they used – those lubricants – they stick to well casings, which in this case JKLM didn’t even have, so my question is, how long are those chemicals going to stick around in the ground? How far are they going to travel and for how long? DEP doesn’t know.”

If you’re having trouble reading your water quality test results please contact Public Herald for assistance at or use our contact button at the bottom right of the page. Photo: A jar of foamy water collected near the North Hollow tributary by local residents. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

Benzene is a BTEX compound and known carcinogen, which both DEP and JKLM discovered in water tests. According to a branch of the Center for Disease Control, “long-term benzene exposure causes effects on the bone marrow and can cause anemia and leukemia.” While acute exposure to children, i.e. anything short term, “can result in skin and eye irritation or burning, as well as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and suffocation,” according an EPA report.
The Center for Disease Control writes in “Facts About Benzene” that it can be poisonous when absorbed into the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact.
In September we reported how residents had “not been told by JKLM to stop using their water for washing and cooking, even though some families have young children and isopropanol can be absorbed through the skin.”
Benzene, if present, would have added to this avoidable danger.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry (ATSDR), benzene contamination of groundwater “can result in volatilization into indoor air when the groundwater is used as household water. In addition, contamination of groundwater and subsurface soil can result in migration of these chemicals into basements as soil gas.” Although, soil gas effects would generally result from much higher concentrations of benzene either leaking from buried tanks or found on hazardous waste sites.
Not present at the meeting was the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). No one mentioned the word “health” during the two hour meeting.
In an email to resident Laurie Barr, Barry Miller, who is the Epidemiology Research Associate in the Department of Health’s Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology, explained:
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) continues to closely monitor this situation, since first reported to our department on September 24, 2015.  A collaborative effort is ongoing with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which includes review of all available well water test reports from this incident, collected by the DEP. Our environmental health team, including the state toxicologist, carefully examine these reports. In addition to these actions, the DOH has remained available to investigate all health complaints from individuals affected by this incident. According to the DEP, data collection from this incident is ongoing and all such data will be shared with the DOH for review. Please be assured that the DOH will continue to monitor this incident and respond to all health related concerns.
Please call 717-787-3350 if you have further questions or concerns, or if you prefer, by email:
Miller’s information has not been delivered to the public via JKLM, DEP or county websites. Residents have told Public Herald that they were unaware that DOH was involved or that they could be contacted about suspected health problems.

Media Making Matters Worse

Matters about what’s in the groundwater system and when water is really safe to drink get murkier with inaccurate and untimely reporting. For example, Bradford Era’s misleading headline: “No detrimental effect on aquifer from JKLM contamination.” There are lingering effects and DEP’s investigation will be ongoing “for some time,” according to DEP.
JKLM Bradford Era Story

Bradford Era inaccurately printed the headline “No detrimental effect on aquifer from JKLM spill.” DEP reported “no detrimental effect” from the plugging of JKLM Energy’s botched gas well. The use of the word “spill” also misrepresents the event. © Melissa Troutman for Public Herald

What DEP actually said was that “no detrimental effect was discovered” during the plugging of JKLM’s gas well, revealed in a video recording (skip to 30:06) of the meeting. Several contaminants have been detected in monitoring wells before and after plugging, including “the same sort of contaminants, the MBAS, the BTEX” that the department found in other wells and two unnamed plasticizers.

Public Water Supplies Not Yet Cleared For Reactivation By DEP

DEP and JKLM also presented the latest information regarding two public water systems that are still offline as a result of the contamination of the local water supply area.
John Hamilton from DEP’s Bureau of Water Quality, in charge of regulating public water supplies, explained that prior to allowing the systems serve water to the public, “a 72-hour pumping and purging of the wells to stress the aquifer” must occur, after which DEP will collect split samples with both Coudersport Municipal Water Authority and Charles Cole Memorial Hospital.
“We would review sample results, and if it is determined that there is no impact to those water supplies, we would then concur and allow them to turn those supplies back on,” Hamilton said.
According to Hamilton, DEP sampled the public water supplies on September 29th and October 6th. “At this point, there has been no indication of any impacts to either water supplies. We did inform Coudersport and Cole that it’s their decision to request turning the wells back on.”
DEP did not reveal test results of the samples from public supplies.
It’s unclear whether public water purveyors plan to notify consumers about the pumping, purging, testing and potential reactivation of the two water supplies.

Investigation Will Be Ongoing “For Some Time” But Kefover Says “No More Public Meetings”

DEP and JKLM representatives both made it very clear that the results of this investigation, likely the most costly water investigation to hit Potter County since fracking development began, is only “the first phase” of a full investigation that will continue “for some time.”
Meanwhile, JKLM has been issued two permits to begin construction at other well sites and several new drilling permits are currently being considered by DEP, despite the ongoing investigation.
Public Herald asked JKLM to clarify if the company will be aware of chemicals it uses before injecting them underground, JKLM’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Scott Blauvelt failed to answer the question. Instead he replied:
“In the process of drilling that surface or top hole section of the well-bore, we encountered several fracture zones.
“Those fractures are typically encountered. That’s how groundwater moves in this part of the country, so they’re not unanticipated.”
“The hammer bit oil that should have been used was not employed,” Blauvelt said. “More appropriately we might have used a vegetable-based oil.”
JKLM North Hollow Illegal Injection

Scott Blauvelt, Director of JKLM Regulatory Affairs and hydrogeologist, explains the plume of pollution from a JKLM fracking well pad to an audience at a September special meeting in Coudersport, PA. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

Blauvelt added near the end of the meeting, “We knew this would be a complex undertaking and our objective was to deploy, fully deploy, a very, very experienced team of scientists and engineers to make sure that we were not leaving any stone unturned and that there was something lurking in the groundwater flow system that could be an impact to people.”
Blauvelt’s reassurance of detection and leaving no stone unturned is in contrast to JKLM test results shared with Public Herald. The documents, found in a DEP complaint investigation, indicated that JKLM tested for far fewer substances than the state in their investigation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection explain their water sampling parameters during the North Hollow JKLM complaint investigation. © Joshua B. Pribanic for Public Herald

The room, filled mostly with state, industry and county officials, fervently applauded at the meeting’s end. After the meeting, God’s Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited President Dr. Peter Ryan echoed Blauvelt from JKLM, “I think they did a wonderful job in this presentation, and they’ve, I think, left no stone unturned.”
While Public Herald was eating lunch down the street from where the meeting was held, we were approached by Commissioner Susan Kefover. After a brief discussion about the ongoing nature of the investigation and the lack of time for public comment regarding such an important matter of public health, Save Our Streams PA co-founder Laurie Barr asked the commissioner if there would be another public meeting.
Kefover replied, “There will be no more public meetings.”
However, Melewskly explained to Public Herald that “If a citizen believes there’s been a violation of the [Pennsylvania Sunshine] act they can pursue the civil penalties in the law or the criminal penalties or both.” A citizen would be expected to pursue penalties within 30 days of an alleged violation, and, if successful, could force elected officials to hold a public meeting where public comment can be recorded.
“A person who thinks there’s been a violation would file a private criminal complaint which would be against the individual county commissioners and that would be filed with the District Attorney’s office. On the civil side, they could file a civil lawsuit in the court of common pleas in the county where the agency sits and they could ask the court for appropriate relief.”
Melewsky emphasized a citizen can file the complaint to the District Attorney’s office without an attorney, but suggested contacting the local bar association to find out what attorneys handle civil cases for filing with the county.

Joshua B. Pribanic, Public Herald Editor-in-Chief, contributed to this report

To read all three parts of the JKLM investigation published by Public Herald please visit our INVISIBLE HAND series page. If you’d like to make an end of the year donation to our work for cool rewards, you can do so by visiting The Public Herald Team wishes all of our readers a happy and healthy coming year. Thanks for reading and sharing our stories in 2015!

Melissa Troutman
Melissa Troutman
Melissa Troutman is a journalist, writer and vocal artist. She began investigating shale gas extraction in 2010 as a newspaper reporter in her hometown of Coudersport, Pennsylvania before co-founding the investigative news nonprofit Public Herald, where she now serves as Executive Director. Melissa co-wrote, -directed and -edited the documentary Triple Divide (2013), which she also narrates with award-winning actor Mark Ruffalo. Follow her on twitter @melissat22.


Anonymous said...

That Mason jar picture of liquid is VERY questionable.

Anonymous said...

hopefully if the water is ruined the taxpayers of Pa don't have to pay for it with grant money.I'm sure somwhere down the line the taxpayers will foot the bill.That is why I Retired and want to get rid of the house.I'm tired of bailing everyone that is irresponsible out

Anonymous said...

There was an opportunity for public comments/questions but Melissa and her partner threw things in to chaos with their badgering.
Convenient that your "North Hollow resident" that you interviewed works for a large company in direct competition with JKLM, not to mention that he has an axe to grind with them.

Anonymous said...

why would the commissioners do that? this sounds like a big cover up. just a PR outing for the company without comments being accepted. They investigate themselves, spin the findings, and the politicians and press accept what they say? How weird is that? Morley should have at least had the brass to allow the public to comment and ask questions.

Anonymous said...

you ppl voted them in!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a giant advertisement for the public herald to me ! I like how people give themselves a title for importance !

Anonymous said...

Would Melissa or Joshua of Public Herald kindly disclose their funding source?

Anonymous said...

people need to stop being apologists for corporations doing damage to the health and safety of local residents. What the hell is wrong with you folks?

Anonymous said...

How many people got sick? And when is the DOH going to find out what chemicals went into the well so we can start testing for them?

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work public herald. Looks like people are finally starting to wake up and smell the coffee. Too bad it took a driller to contaminate a local aquifer to do it.

Jimmy Crakcorn said...

Nobody has gotten sick....there have been NO problems caused by the water. Before all of you environmental idiots get your panties in a bunch, check out this link on what BTEX really is. What it breaks down to is basically most of the chemicals in a single cigarette. When will you people quit listening to the idiots from the Public Herald trying to get you all worked up by throwing terms at you that you don't understand. Why haven't we seen any samples from Steve Erways pond or Tim Zanolinis either. Has anyone really tested any of the water supplies other than what we are looking at from the DEP? You people are SHEEP and being led to pasture by journalists that want publicity.

Anonymous said...

Did any of the local officials get some of the 100 million by leasing?

Anonymous said...

Very inaccurate report. These meetings by the Natural Gas Resource Center have all been held with the same format of having speakers make their presentations and then allowing as a courtesy questions submitted in writing. There are no violations of the Sunshine Law for the Natural Gas Resource Center to hold a public meeting just like all of it's other public information meetings and try to keep things orderly.

Anonymous said...

4:53 did you attend the meeting? There was an opportunity for questions at the end of the meeting. JKLM was/is not just investigating themselves and spinning it. It is being investigated by DEP also and they are using labs independent of the labs that JKLM is using.

Anonymous said...

What this issue requires is accurate information. Instead, what a very tiny group of people have done is exploit this violation of environmental protection laws and a close call in terms of seriously fouling water supplies for their own self promotion. Then they have the gall to make an appeal for good old money donated to keep fueling the biased writing that they mistakenly label "reporting" or "journalism." It is a ridiculous stretch to suggest the Gas Task Force was required by law to run it's meeting according to the way these self-serving, self-promoting people wanted it to be run. This was not their meeting. We should be thankful that DEP and JKLM was willing to send their people right into the hornets nest because they felt a responsibility to the public. People I talked to who went to the meeting were thankful for the information they were able to receive. Of course, they didn't attend it with an intention to draw attention to themselves, exploit and distort it in print, and then make another pitch for readers to send them money. And who gives a crap about an "award-winning actor", like his fame as a movie star is supposed to give these people some kind of credibility. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

really people are so good at using the media for their personal views and altering the facts to their own opinion. good post Jimmy Crackhorn

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of finger pointing going on here. I also notice nothing being commenting on the fact that the bradford error has been bought and paid for for years. They only report and print things they have approval for and brings attention to their own agenda. They don't go out and get real stories like the press did in the 60's and 70's ... don't want to step on the wrong persons/ politicians or companies toes ...

Anonymous said...

The public herald executives should stick to selling tee shirts ! What a joke with their liberal scare tactics and badgering to cause trouble !

Anonymous said...

Courtesy? Allowing the public an opportunity to comment is required at all public meetings, do you mean to say they violated the sunshine act in the past too?

Anonymous said...

4:43 The company this resident works for is in no way in direct competition with JKLM as JKLM are in my opinion bottom feeders. The only axe that resident has to grind with JKLM is that JKLM has ruined the water,ruined the value of the property and has sickened people and pets in that residence. And the fact that you stopped delivering water to them when anyone with a conscience knows exactly what they are saying is true.

and jimmycrackcorn... TOTAL LIE, PEOPLE AND PETS ARE SICK and if it makes you feel better to lie to yourself or gets you a big bonus check then I truly feel sorry for you.
I for one don't care to drink radiated chemicles any longer and am now forced to pay for drinking water for how many years while still being forced to wash and bathe in this contaminated water. This whole deal is a giant cover up by JKLM and shame on all you people who are involved in money over health and life. I pray that the good Lord above will open your eyes and show you what you are have done. Your paycheck is not worth selling your soul for. People are ill, pets are ill and you all turn your heads and cover it up for the sake of the allmighty dollar.

saveourstreamspa said...

If melissa, josh and others didn't keep the pressure on officials, this meeting wouldn't have even taken place. Thank you melissa and josh! If folks don't want to hear about the contaminanted aquifer that's fine but a bunch of people who rely on this aquifer need to know. Laurie Barr

Anonymous said...

JKLM , How was your holiday? I spent mine on the sofa rocking back and forth holding my head in pain and having terrible stomach ache. 3 months of being constantly sick. I've barely left my home in 3 months just wasting away on the sofa 24/7. what is my quality of life worth to you? would you like to reimburse me for the money spent buying products to try and heal myself and my household from this sickness?

Anonymous said...

JKLM has only 2 wells? how could they be competition for any company? JKLM gives the oil and gas industry a bad name.

Anonymous said...

quote_ JKLM attorney John Sieminski went so far as to squash further questions regarding specific test results:
“We told you what we know about the chemical analysis,” Sieminski said. “It’s not concerning. End of story. Next question.”

Really John Sieminski? would you like a big glass of radiated cesium or barium or just plain ol nutritious benzene? or how about a big swig of engine cleaner which I read contains the same chemicals typically used in frac fluid?
would you let your family drink this water? Not concerning?
maybe not to you but for those of us who drank this for several days because you didnt feel the need to notify the residents.....

you didn't want the manufactures list of chemicals because not having that let you test for some ingredients but not disclose or test for the full list, is that not true?

Anonymous said...

Thank you 1:03! The big question needs to be answered. Without knowing the complete list of chemicals jklm used to free the drill it is impossible to guarantee the safety of the public water supplies.

Anonymous said...

The pressure on the drill/well head had to be released to do the necessary work. . The method used is to inject Alpha-Galactosidase , this makes it possible to work on the well with reduced pressure. I cant believe you people haven't researched this. This enzyme is not harmful in small quantities.. Nuff Sed

Anonymous said...

6:22-- jklm admits to using 98 gallons of F485 and 35 gallons of rock oil. isopropropanol and propriatary undisclosed ingredients.

Anonymous said...

I have been involved in a family energy company for more than 20 years I just have to shake my head at the ignorance and lack of basic education demonstrated in this article. The stuff they used to pull out that drill was prohibited (at that depth) and they did wrong, admitted it and are paying the price. But this is not a big chemical disaster. Rubbing alcohol, as it is basically, rapidly dissipates and the other materials that were used in very tiny proportions diluted with water also is very water soluble. Tests are all coming back clean and monitors are in place to make sure something doesn't flare up again, which is pretty much impossible. I am not defending JKLM or any company that knowingly violates the law and poses a risk to people's water supplies, but I am trying to put this in perspective. Pennsylvania Department of Public Health has been notified by DEP and is monitoring this situation from the health perspective. People are doing what they need to do. A couple of people are milking this for all it is worth (and, yes, they are asking you for donations to fund their "reporting"), but they have to be pretty bummed out that this is not going to end up being that big of a deal.

Anonymous said...

Rubbing alcohol? NO! These are extremely toxic chemicals injected into these wells and that is fact!
Read the MSDS sheet on F-485 alone. Rock oil is not rubbing alcohol.
you say the material was prohibited at that depth? Truth is It was criminal to inject that down an UNCASED WELL at any depth!
ignorance and lack of basic education seems to be something you need to look into yourself!
when F-485 lists one or more ingredients to be a "trade secret" under osha hazard communicataion law, you can hardly say it is just rubbing alcohol.

Anonymous said...

650, Alpha-Galactosidase is the primary ingredient in "BEAN-O", that's right, the stuff people take to stop farting. It neutralizes gas.. Ha Ha,, do your homework....