My bf works for an oilfield chemical service locally and he is always telling me crazy hair-brained schemes set up by their environmental agency overseers in the form of Rules they have to follow. Today's story had me staring in shock and wonder.....
Okay so, it's winter time and first the agency does not want their trucks tearing up the ground around the natural gas leases, and of course do not want them dripping any nasty crap from their trucks either so the plan was to cover the ground with an ice sheet to protect everything a little bit more, right?
First off, the amount of water needed for each lease is about 1000 gallons and there were 31 leases, so that's about 31,000 gallons of water being sprayed on the ground (don't forget at home to turn the taps off when you are brushing your teeth - you water-waster you!)..... but another interesting tidbit of knowledge is that the water trucks are also used to carry chemicals such as glycol, methanol, crude oil, stagnant water, blow-back fluid (nasty crap you get back after frac-ing a well), etc etc and even though the trucks are sprayed out after use (usually lol), it is not possible to get out every single remnant of crud. So the water that they are requiring to be sprayed on the ground is DIRTY WATER.
Dirty water to protect the precious soil? Hmmm,,,, interesting.
We also discussed how there are situations such as snow falling in layers on this ice and then eventually when the temps warm up, it all melts and the run-off can go off-lease all by it's own little self. Perhaps into drainage ditches, water supplies, etc. Oh fun! How environmental!
Oh and I forgot about RUST. The ice sheet in some leases is ORANGE due to rust from inside the truck tanks, and it's BROWN in many other areas because of all the crap mixed in with the water. That sounds reallllllllly protective of our environment, does it not? But it was required by the environmental agency overseers. It is also required that the workers place drip trays under any hose-disconnection so they don't drip anything onto the ground/ice sheet. Even if it's actually a water truck. Well if the water truck needs a drip tray to save the ground from any contamination.... why is the whole freaking ground sprayed with this same water? DUH? Am I missing something here?
It makes me think again and again of Save The Trees, use Plastic and then years later saying 'oops my bad, don't use plastic because of it's massive impact on the environment'.... Spray water on the ground even though it's contaminated with pollutants so in a few more years we can say that local farmers are complaining about run-off from leases and shut them down. But if you do hear about things like this, try to remember that it was actually required by the environmental agency think-tanks who are trying to come up with better ways to save the earth ;)
Oh and another one that always makes me chuckle is that the sand used in Fracs is beautiful 9-sided white sand they have to get from special suppliers apparently, really clean white sand we would all love to run around in barefoot (silica if I remember right). It is used because it is so strong and needs to be pumped at high psi into the ground (mixed with water etc until it looks like baby pablum lol) but it's also CLEAN. It's SAND. Lovely pretty pure clean sand....... okay but if they spill some of it on the TOP of the ground, a Vac-truck has to come suck it all up. A stinky diesel vac-truck has to come lumbering along and belch out fumes while sucking up CLEAN SAND that the enviro-nuts do not want spilled on the ground. Yup - that makes perfect sense to me! I know this because my bf has had to sit at a Frac site with his Vac-truck and wait for any little mishaps so he can rush over and start his engines and pumps and suck it all up. He has also piloted some of the lovely water trucks in my earlier example.