Shalefield Stories Project
Dedicated to the power of human stories, these personal and collected testimonies are from people who have been harmed by dangerous drilling in the oil and gas Shalefields across the country. In Pennsylvania alone, there are more than 4,000 Marcellus wells, with projections ranging from 2,500 new wells a year to a total of more than 100,000 over the next few decades.
According to medical oncologist Dr. Dawson Lim, MD, from a quote in the Shalefield Stories, “Fracking advocates claim that natural gas reserves will help lead to a clean energy future, however, the negative consequences of fracking may yield the exact opposite effect on our future. There are over 650 chemical compounds in fracking fluids that may cause cancer in humans. There is NO minimal exposure to these toxins that is safe. Acute and especially chronic exposure in children and adults may cause or promote the development of cancer. We are all at risk.”
The Mountain Messenger will post several of these stories in future editions of the paper, with permission obtained from the publishers of “Shalefield Stories,” Environment America, a federation of state-based, citizen supported, environmental organizations in 29 states which believes it is vital for the public to hear directly from people living on the frontlines of fracking. For more information, please go to www.environmentamerica.org.
Terry Greenwood, Daisytown, Washington County, PA
• Animal Health Impact: Lost 11 head of cattle, 10 of which were stillborn calves
• Industry Dishonesty / Disregard: Company littered and left garbage on property; Removed six acres of hayfields; Cut fences
• Loss of Property: 100% loss – $125,000 to $0
• Loss of Income: $10,000 per year lost revenue due to loss of cattle
My name is Terry Greenwood. My farm is losing revenue from sick and dying cattle. Whether horizontal or vertical wells are drilled, there is destruction and contamination from spills and run-off. I am calling for a ban on fracking.
I am a small town farmer from Western Pennsylvania. I have lived on this farm since 1988. This property was leased back in 1921. The gas company. Dominion, came to my farm in 2007 and said. ‘”We’re going to drill two wells on your property.” They acted like dictators. They did what they wanted to do. I had no say.
The wellhead was 285 feet from my pond. There was a spill on my property a short time later. The track fluid went into my field and pond. My animals drank this water. I lost 11 cattle. A two-year-old cow died, 10 calves were stillborn, and four were blind (two had blue eyes and two had white eyes). This affects the animals something terrible. I had to get rid of my bull, because he became sterile. I called the DEP, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Also, we called the gas company. No one helped me. The DEP sided with the gas company when I called them. I was told by the DEP, “There”s nothing wrong with this. They dump the water.” The damage was done.
My drinking water went bad in January 2008. It looked like iced tea. When I called the company, they said, “Don”t drink it.” The gas company only tested my well that was for drinking water and my spring. They had no interest in testing the water my animals drank or answering as to what chemicals killed my cattle. They then came and drilled five wells to find a water well, but the water was so salty you couldn’t drink it. However, they refused to supply us with water that we could drink. I have been paying $800 a year for water since.
To the complaints I made, the gas company said, “Get an attorney. Prove it.”
They threw garbage on my property and buried frack pits with plastic liners sticking up in places… This is what they do to you. I lost six acres of hayfield to the roads they built. They came one day, cut the fence and did what they wanted to do. When I hauled their garbage to the road, because I didn’t want them burying it on my property, they accused me of blocking the road with garbage. They have even taken me to court.
I sell cattle for food. My business is bad now since it is not nearly as profitable. This has been hard on us and has caused a lot of stress and pressure. I am losing over $10,000 per year in lost cattle and hayfield. Much more money has been lost than has been collected in royalties from the wells on my farm.
In 2009, a Dominion employee told me, “The wells are drilled. We’re done with you.” These people just ruin your life.