We are concerned about:
· Contamination of groundwater by fracturing fluids arising from wellbore/casing failure and/or subsurface migration.
· Pollution of land and surface water.
· Water consumption/abstraction.
· Waste water treatment.
· Land and Landscape impacts.
· Impacts arising during construction, such as noise and light pollution, flaring/venting and local traffic impacts.
What studies have they done in regards to Karoo aquifer system?
In order to map the area would take at least 2 years, according to experts.
What experts have been consulted in regards to planning the EIA?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is still in the early stages of a Fracking Research Program, initial results will only be available towards end of 2012.
How eco-friendly is it to extract natural gas in the Karoo?
In many cases it is less eco-friendly to extract this gas than to mine coal. Please compare the carbon footprint for both methods in your study.
The drilling depth proposed in the Karoo is significantly deeper than in the US. How do they plan to loosen the gas at such depths?
Has drilling to these depths for Hydraulic Fracturing ever been attempted before? How can they claim to know the potential effects when it will be experimental?
If there are methane/other leaks or spills, who is going to provide drinking water?
Drinking water contamination (actual recorded cases), 2004 Garfield County, 2007 Bainbridge Ohio, 2009 Dimock Pennsylvania, 2009 McNett Township Pennsylvania, 2009 Foster Township, PA, June 2010 Clearfield County, etc…
What chemicals are they going to use? Please list ALL chemicals Shell will be using, and all known side effects of every chemical.
Chemicals used in the Fracking process have not always been fully disclosed by drilling companies, but we know that some of these chemicals are toxic, some are toxic to aquatic organisms, some are acute toxins, some are known carcinogens, more are suspected carcinogens, some are classified as mutagenic, and some are classified as having reproductive side effects.
First fracturing operations on single six well pads requires 1000 to 3500 cubic meters of chemicals. This is a massive volume.
What by-products will be produced and how will the drillers deal with Flowback?
How will they deal with the flowback fluids?
20-85% of Fracking fluid stays in ground.
Flowback fluids include heavy metals, radioactivity, NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials), possible hydrocarbons, etc.
Where will the water come from?
Single well requires 9000-29000 cubic meters = 9 – 29 megaliters for the drilling process.
Six well pad requires 54000 – 174000 cubic meters = 54 – 174 megaliters for the drilling process.
The Karoo is a semi-arid, extremely water-stressed environment.
Where will waste water go?
In the U.S. the wastewater has been tested and proven to be toxic.
Please address in your report SPECIFICALLY STATE THE LOCATIONS where Shell plans to dispose of the waste.
Currently, companies in the U.S. are struggling to dispose of their waste, often having to cross state lines with the waste because of its toxicity, in order to dump it at facilities that don’t carry out testing.
How are they planning to enhance/upgrade current infrastructure?
Each well requires 1,800 to 2,600 truck drive-bys
An 8 well pad site requires 14,400 to 20,800 drive-bys
Existing Fracking sites experience the following:
· Convoys of up to 100+ tankers
· Roads and bridges damaged
· Air pollution from diesel exhaust
· Noise pollution night and day
· Experts estimate that town centers can be ruined for about 30 years
The Graaff-Reinet NG church is already severely affected by the vibrations caused by passing trucks at current traffic volumes. Experts have studied the church and determined that it is quickly failing structurally due to CURRENT truck traffic loading through Graaff-Reinet. Please specifically address the SPECIFIC traffic volumes expected, and how this will increase the structural strain on extremely important historic buildings in Graaff-Reinet and surrounding towns.
In the US traffic damage to roads has been an issue. For example, it is reported that
West Virginia Department of Transportation has increased the bonds that industrial
gas drillers must pay from $6,000 to $100,000/mile.
Service yards will draw huge amounts of converging traffic.
Please include in your report a SPECIFIC estimate for the anticipated traffic volumes on the N1, N9, R61, R63, and any other highways or gravel roads on the proposed routes. Please report on the current pavement layerworks design on each road, and their current Equivalent Single Axle Load (ESAL) design capabilities. If the current design capabilities of each road do not meet the requirement for the amount of truck traffic proposed, please report every section of road that will require redesign and reconstruction, along with associated cost and time implications, for all of the road infrastructure that will require upgrading.
How can a accurate EMP be done without EIA’s? (This question relates to Golder and Shell, and their application directly)
Golder stated repeatedly that the EMP is an Environmental Management Programme. Golder claim that in the EMP they will define exactly how Shell intends to “manage” the Fracking process.
However, they also stated repeatedly that they have not done any studies on the impact of Fracking, do not yet know which chemicals will be used, from where the water will be sourced, how or where the wastewater will be disposed, or what measures will be put in place to prevent and treat pollution, contamination, and toxic waste.
There is a contradiction here. If Golder/Shell have not yet studied any of these topics, how can they possibly purport at the EMP phase that they already know how Shell will “manage” all of these issues and problems.