Vast fracking waste dumps are destroying Patagonia’s indigenous land (VIDEO)

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11-01-19 08:28:00,

Illegal fracking waste dumps are wreaking havoc on Argentina’s Patagonia region. Indigenous groups are suing some of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies for harming the environment in their ancestral lands.

The Mapuche Confederation of Neuquen filed a lawsuit against Exxon, Total, Pan American Energy (partially owned by BP) and Treater Neuquen in December. 

READ MORE: US oil production is set to soar past 12 million barrels per day

Members of the Mapuche community spoke about their concerns near Anelo in Neuquen Province on Thursday. Drone footage taken in the area shows a fracking waste treatment plant owned by Treater Neuquen, which treats waste for these energy companies.

“Nearby we have a landfill that is completely polluted,” resident Mariela Mancilla told Ruptly. “The companies discard everything in the land and then cover it once it’s there.”

An illegal open-air dump the size of 15 football fields, owned by Treater, is only 5km (3 miles) away from Anelo and close to water supplies.

“All the soil they cover is soaked in oil, all that goes to the rivers, when it rains, so we fear the water is contaminated 500 times more than what is allowed,” she added.

Jorge Nahuel, co-ordinator for the Mapuche Confederation of Neuquen, told Ruptly that the garbage dump installed just last year is already “saturated,” and that local residents can’t get guarantee it will be able to hold all of the waste produced by fracking.

Locals are well aware of the problem, he said, “because we suffer when we turn on the water tap.”

“There are skin problems, there are problems in the nervous system, cancer tumours that are growing in the population,” Nahuel explained.

Greenpeace has accused the corporations of flaunting regulations and of conducting “environmental vandalism.”

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Fracking Chemicals Dumped in Allegheny River a Decade Ago Entered Food Chain

Fracking Chemicals Dumped in Allegheny River a Decade Ago Entered Food Chain

25-09-18 09:20:00,

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Chemicals from fracking wastewater dumped into Pennsylvania’s Allegheny River before 2011 are still accumulating in the bodies of freshwater mussels downstream, according to a new study.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found elevated concentrations of Strontium in the shells of freshwater mussels downstream from a former fracking wastewater disposal site in Warren, Pennsylvania, about 143 miles northeast (and upstream) of Pittsburgh.

While the potential health impacts on humans from this contamination are unclear, high levels of exposure to non-radioactive Strontium can disrupt bone growth in children.

“Mussels record the changes in water quality that they see over their lifetimes in the layers of their hard shells,” Nathaniel Warner, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Pennsylvania State University who co-authored the study, told EHN. “We can go back about 10 years and see the spikes that indicate when wastewater from Marcellus shale was being treated and discharged into the Allegheny River.”

The study, recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology, is among the first to show bioaccumulation — the buildup of chemicals in the bodies of living creatures — from oil and gas wastewater downstream of a surface water disposal facility.

“We don’t know how much of an impact this has on human health, or if it has any impact at all,” Warner said, “but this means it’s entering the food chain.” He noted that they’d like to look at the soft tissue of the mussels next, since muskrats and fish dine on freshwater mussels, but “no animals really eat the shells.”

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Fracking Wastewater Spikes 1,440 Percent in Half Decade

Fracking Wastewater Spikes 1,440 Percent in Half Decade

18-08-18 09:39:00,

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Between 2011 and 2016, fracked oil and gas wells in the US pumped out record-breaking amounts of wastewater, which is laced with toxic and radioactive materials, a new Duke University study concludes. The amount of wastewater from fracking rose 1,440 percent during that period.

Over the same time, the total amount of water used for fracking rose roughly half as much, 770 percent, according to the paper published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

“Previous studies suggested hydraulic fracturing does not use significantly more water than other energy sources, but those findings were based only on aggregated data from the early years of fracking,” Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, said in a statement. “After more than a decade of fracking operation, we now have more years of data to draw upon from multiple verifiable sources.”

The researchers predict that spike in water use will continue to climb.

And over the next dozen years, they say the amount of water used could grow up to 50 times higher when fracking for shale gas and 20 times higher when fracking for oil — should prices rise. The paper, titled “The Intensification of the Water Footprint of Hydraulic Fracturing,” was based on a study conducted with funding from the National Science Foundation.

“Even if prices and drilling rates remain at current levels, our models still predict a large increase by 2030 in both water use and wastewater production,” said Andrew J. Kondash, a PhD student in Vengosh’s lab who was lead author of the paper.

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