Photo: Hey Paul
More than two years after the start of a natural gas drilling boom, Pennsylvania is making public a complete list of the chemicals used to extract the gas from deep underground amid rising public fears of potential water contamination and increased scrutiny of the fast-growing industry.
It counts more than 80 chemicals being used by the industry in a process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as it pursues the gas in the mile-deep shale. The mixture of chemicals breaks up the shale some 5,000 to 8,000 feet down and props open the cracks to allow the gas trapped inside to flow up the well to the surface.
Some of the chemicals being used are associated with neurological problems, cancer and other serious health effects, although state and industry officials say there is no evidence that the activity is polluting drinking water.
Environmental advocates, however, worry the chemicals are poisoning underground drinking water sources.
READ THIS STORY AT HUFFINGTONPOST.COM
Continue reading AP: Natural Gas Drilling: 80 Chemicals Possibly Contaminating Water Systems
Soil tests on a handful of Sierra Nevada trails located near abandoned mines have revealed extremely high levels of lead, arsenic and asbestos, said researchers at the Sierra Fund, an environmental advocacy group.
Lead levels near the Marall Chrome Mine pit were nearly 18 times the state and federal standards, and 40 percent of the soil samples showed asbestos contamination, science director Carrie Monohan said.
Asbestos, when inhaled, can embed in throat and lung tissue, causing cancer and other respiratory ailments.
Because of the diffuse nature of the hazardous minerals in surface soils, they are almost impossible to clean up, according to David Christy, spokesman with the Bureau of Land Management’s Central California division.
California has received roughly $20 million in federal stimulus money to clean and maintain abandoned mines.
READ THIS STORY AT SFGATE.COM
Continue reading SFGate: Several popular California trails found to be toxic
The first experimental step in an innovative plan to recuperate Peru’s disappearing Andean glaciers involves returning an extinct glacier to its former snowy white color, not by falling snow but by whitewash.
There is debate between those who dismiss the idea as just plain daft and those who praise it as a simple yet brilliant solution.
The idea is based on the simple scientific principle that when sunlight is reflected off the painted white or light-colored surface, solar energy passes back through the atmosphere and out into space, rather than warming the Earth’s surface.
Eduardo Gold, the 55-year-old Peruvian inventor who came up with the scheme, said it would bring about a cooling of the peak’s surface, which in turn would generate a cold micro-climate around the peak producing conditions ripe for the glacier to re-grow.
READ THIS STORY AT BBC.CO.UK
Continue reading BBC: Can painting a mountain restore a glacier?