Again, I just have a really hard time understanding why we don’t trust the energy industry to look out for our best interests?
In 2007, Berry Energy Inc. of Clarksburg began drilling a conventional, vertical gas well in a section of the Fernow Experimental Forest, a part of the Monongahela set aside for research.
Adams said what unfolded over the next two years was an unexpected opportunity for observation.
Some results were expected, from deforestation and road damage to runoff and erosion. Others, including the dramatic die-off when wastewater was land-applied, were not.
Berry Energy didn’t immediately return messages Monday, but the report says that in June 2008, under a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection, it sprayed 75,000 gallons of treated fracking fluid on the quarter-acre.
Adams said the Forest Service hoped to minimize damage and was only told afterward that the industry standard is to use a much larger area.
“We were surprised when the vegetation responded so quickly because we were told there would be no effect, ‘This is done all the time,'” Adams said. “And there was a very dramatic response.”
Within a few days, all ground vegetation was dead. Within 10 days, the leaves of the hardwoods began to turn brown and drop. Within two years, more than half of the 150 trees were dead, and sodium and chloride concentrations in the soil were 50 times higher than normal.
I know I’m excited to see the destruction of New York forests through Andrew Cuomo approved fracking, not to mention the continued deforestation of wild, wonderful West Virginia.