The State of Alaska has issued an exploration license to Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. to explore for gas within the Healy Basin which includes Healy, Ferry and the Stampede Corridor. Although DCC has filed an administrative appeal of this license, local citizens should understand that drilling activities may occur on or near their property in the near future. These activities can impact water quality without obvious signs on the surface. DCC has arranged for a group rate for homeowners wishing to test their water to establish their baseline water quality before any drilling takes place.
Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking
Gas drilling now uses a process known as “hydraulic fracturing” also known as “fracking,” which shoots millions of gallons of water, sand and toxic chemicals into the ground to break up rock and release the gas. Thousands of water contamination cases have been documented in lower 48 communities where gas drilling occurs and people and wildlife are getting sick.
Chemicals used in fracking fluids may include benzene, glycol-ethers, toluene, 2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethanol, and nonylphenols. All of these chemicals have been linked to health disorders, including cancer, damage to immune systems and endocrine disruption.
Gas drilling can contaminate your water from:
- The seepage of fracking fluid or fracking wastewater into the groundwater as a result of spills or leaks.
- Gas migration from gas wells into nearby water wells. The methane gas will rapidly escape from the groundwater and may pose an explosion hazard in confined spaces.
- Surface contamination from accidental spills and leaky tanks, trucks, drilling pads, compressor stations and waste pits may allow gasoline derivatives such as benzene, toluene, xylene, along with other hydrocarbon chemicals to leach into streams, springs and water wells.
Get a base-line water test before drilling
As a homeowner in gas license area, you probably do not own your subsurface rights, but you do have the right to protect your resources. You should test your water prior to any drilling activity to establish your baseline water quality. In order to use a water analysis in any potential future legal action, there are several steps of the sampling process that have to be followed. Chain of custody proves that the sample was taken properly, stored and transmitted properly as well as analyzed in accordance with the testing methods set forth in the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Denali Citizens Council urges you to get your water tested. DCC has negotiated a reduced price with a state certified independent water testing lab. If you are interested in participating in this discount water testing opportunity, please contact DCC by calling 683-3396 or e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If ten or more households sign up for the test package that samples for volatile organics, hydraulic fluids and gasoline derivatives (pollutants associated with hydraulic fracturing and gas operations) the price for the test package for each home will be approximately $330. If less than 10 households sign up, the price is $356.
Please respond by November 23, 2011, to take advantage of this group deal.