Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Livestock in fracking regions

After drilling began just over the property line of Jacki Schilke’s ranch in the northwestern corner of North Dakota, in the heart of the state’s booming Bakken Shale, cattle began limping, with swollen legs and infections. Cows quit producing milk for their calves, they lost from 60 to 80 pounds in a week and their tails mysteriously dropped off. Eventually, five animals died, according to Schilke.

Ambient air testing by a certified environmental consultant detected elevated levels of benzene, methane, chloroform, butane, propane, toluene and xylene – and well testing revealed high levels of sulfates, chromium, chloride and strontium. Schilke said she moved her herd upwind and upstream from the nearest drill pad.

via Livestock falling ill in fracking regions | Center for Investigative Reporting.

From February:

The Pennsylvania farmers I spoke with have lost cows, calves, a horse, a couple dozen chickens. Many of the animals succumb in the same way: seizure-like symptoms, gasping for breath and a quick wasting away. A Rottweiler and a Dalmatian also fell ill and died.

via http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-08/fracking-s-toll-on-pets-livestock-chills-pennsylvania-farmers-commentary.html

Gives new meaning to the term ‘tail risk.’



Suncor Refinery Unleashes Plume of “Catalyst Material” in Malfunction

Burnett said it appeared a blower on the unit that processes crude oil stopped working, causing the catalyst material to escape as a yellowish, grayish material until the unit could be shut down.

The unit is is involved in processing gasoline from crude oil, she said.

“It was very short,” Burnett said. “It lasted less than a few minutes.”

She said federal agencies that regulate the plant will be notified to allow them to investigate further, if they wish, she said.

via Plume of "dust" from Suncor refinery shuts roads briefly – The Denver Post.

I don’t know how to break it to people, but toxic clouds are spewing out of that place all the time, by design.



Suncor’s benzene still flowing into South Platte

It’s one of Denver’s many delightful quirks!

Six months after Suncor Energy’s oil refinery contaminated Sand Creek and nearby property, obstacles remain in containing the pollution, and a full cleanup may be years away.

via Suncor spill clean-up months, years away – The Denver Post.

This is Denver’s drinking water. Serves us right?



Skeletal remains unearthed near Suncor leak

The discovery happened Friday on the west side of Suncor Energy property, according to Mike Saunders, a Commerce City Police Department spokesman.

Workers at the property were doing “hydro-excavation” work, moving earth with high-pressure hoses, when they uncovered human bones, said Suncor spokeswoman Brandy Radey.

via Skeletal remains unearthed in Commerce City near Suncor refinery – The Denver Post.

Company spokesman was tight lipped about what work was being done when the corpse was found. Reporters apparently didn’t ask. The skeleton was unearthed in the same general location as the leak into Sand Creek.

See Suncor Refinery Benzene Still in Platte River and Denver: Taste the Benzene



Denver: Taste the Benzene

I’m offering that up as a possible new official slogan for the city.

“Benzene, also known as benzol, is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor. Benzene evaporates into air very quickly and dissolves slightly in water. Benzene is highly flammable. Most people can begin to smell benzene in air at 1.5-4.7 parts of benzene per million parts of air (ppm) and smell benzene in water at 2 ppm. Most people can begin to taste benzene in water at 0.5-4.5 ppm. One part per million is approximately equal to one drop in 40 gallons….”

From http://www.eco-usa.net/toxics/chemicals/benzene.shtml



Suncor refinery benzene still in the Platte River

From a new article by Bruce Finley in the Denver Post.

Yes, this is Denver drinking water. They don’t even know where the leak is.



LA Times on Suncor ooze

What's in black ooze near Colorado river? Benzene and a mystery – latimes.com.

The short article passes over some choice tidbits, the fact that the health dept. knew about this for a month and did nothing until a fisherman wrote about the spill on his blog, that the dudes at the nearby water treatment plant had to wear respirators due to mystery fumes for a week but nobody thought to trace the source, etc.




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