Author Archives: Andrew J. Scholz

New Case Study Focuses On Potential Occupational Exposure to Silica At Fracturing Sites

frac-sand-2A new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene concludes that silica from frac sand presents a potential occupational hazard to fracking workers and consequently recommends respiratory protection greater than commonly used half mask respirators commonly used by workers.   Given the use of frac sand in fracking operations, the study focused potential silica exposure near sand transfer belts, from trucks leaving fracking sites, and near other areas where the sand is heavily used. The first of its kind study was predicated on…

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Leaked EPA PowerPoint Concerning Dimock Methane In Groundwater

LEakThe latest media leak of internal government documents (in what generally appears to be a growing national trend) comes from the LA Times, where, reportedly, an Environmental Protection Agency employee, notably without permission, disclosed an internal PowerPoint presentation which included information related to the EPA testing of certain wells in the Dimock, Pennsylvania area. According to the LA Times, the document included statements noting methane levels that were found to be significantly higher in groundwater post-drilling. Of course, many are familiar with the high-profile…

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US DOE Initial Findings: No Groundwater Contamination

Department of EnergyAs reported by many outlets, initial results from a year-long United States Department of Energy Study of a hydraulic fracturing well in the Marcellus Shale region indicate no groundwater contamination associated with the practice.    Notably, the industry voluntarily cooperated with the DOE study.  This  cooperation between industry and government may be a sign of the future.  Notably also, the DOE used tracers in the fracking fluid which allowed the DOE to closely track fluid migration.  Specifically, the fluids were injected deep beneath the surface, but…

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Colorado Appeals Court Reverses Trial Court Lone Pine Order

Unknown In a recent appellate decision from Colorado, the Colorado Court of Appeals in Strudley v. Antero reversed the trial court’s issuance of a Lone Pine order, as well as the Court’s subsequent summary judgment decision predicated on plaintiffs’ failure to prove a causal nexus between their personal injury claims and nearby fracking activities. Specifically, the three panel appellate court ruled that the issuance of a Lone Pine order was improper under the Colorado rules of civil procedure.  The Court reviewed various federal and state cases…

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New York Town Sued By Landowners Over Local Ban

ts_sidneymainstThere are a handful of lawsuits being litigated throughout New York over local moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing.  As has been widely reported, two Third Department decisions upheld localities’ powers to ban fracking.   Those decisions are being appealed to the New York Court of Appeals. Last week, another significant lawsuit was brought by landowners against the Town of Sidney.  Sidney is located in Delaware County. Earlier this year, Sidney’s five member Town Board narrowly passed a one year moratorium against fracking.   The vote was 3-2.  The…

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