Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ambient air testing, Bakken, Benzene, butane, chloride, chloroform, chromium, drill pad, fracking fluid, fracking wastewater, Marcellus, methane, North Dakota, propane, Schilke, shale gas, shale oil, strontium, sulfates, toluene, well testing
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.
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.
Gives new meaning to the term ‘tail risk.’