Best Practices at Well Sites
by Christine Todd Whitman, New York Times on 05-19-2015
“Chemicals Used in Fracking Are Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water” (news article, May 5) reported a study by a team of Penn State researchers confirming that drinking water at three homes in Bradford County, Pa., contained traces of 2-Butoxyethanol, or 2BE, a compound found in drilling fluids used at a nearby gas-extraction well.
The fundamental takeaway is that there are responsible practices that can dramatically limit the likelihood of incidents like this one.
Double-lining of pits with leak-detection systems, banning use of open pits altogether on well sites, pre-drilling surveys and post-drilling monitoring, and adequate casing are all best practices that can and should be used at well sites.
The Center for Sustainable Shale Development has published 15 performance standards that industry and environmental groups agree represent best practices. The center is committed to improvement of those practices.
Through our third-party audit program, three major companies have already been certified as meeting these standards, and we expect others to go through the process.
Both the public and industry should insist that where gas extraction takes place, it must be done to the highest environmental and community standards.
CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN
The writer, the former New Jersey governor and former E.P.A. administrator, is president of the Whitman Strategy Group, consultants on energy and environmental issues.