Deborah’s Farmstead Hand Ladled Goat Cheese chees
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Deborahs FarmsteadHand Ladled Goat Cheesechees
Protection of Surface UseChesapeake Energy plans 12 high impact wells as close as 100 feet from grazing pastures.Extensive research links air toxics deposition, particularly up to 1500 feet of the source, with uptake by the dairy ruminant and magnification up the food chain.Requested a meeting with Chesapeake to discuss use of low emission technology to minimize toxic deposition. Meeting was denied.
FactsConducted baseline testing for soil, grass, forages, surface water, ground water, noise, cheese and air. All tests were clean except air.Very high levels sulfur compounds. In addition, there were high levels of chloroform and lower levels of benzene. Chesapeake was flaring a well nearby. Carbon disulfide was 300x the norm for ambient urban air. Other reduced sulfur compounds were 10-16x TCEQ short term effects screening levels. Compounds found linked to acute respiratory irritation, oxygen deficiency, chronic organ toxicity and known or suspected carcinogens.
FactsOver 12,000 wells drilled/3,000 permitted in and around Ft. Worth.No environmental impact study ever conducted for Barnett Shale.No on-going monitoring of wells. Public officials readily admitted that no one knew range of compounds emitted by wells or effects on immediate neighborhood.
Responsibility?Data given to City of Westworth, City of Ft. Worth, TCEQ, RRC, EPA and Chesapeake Energy.Minimum ordinance requirements met in City of Westworth. No action could be taken.Rather than confirming or refuting data with scientific evidence, Chesapeake Energy stated:1.) toxics could be coming from the NAS, 2.) chloroform could be coming from Lockheed Martin Air Force Plant No. 4, 3.)toxics may have come from cars, trucks and airplanes, 4.) carbon disulfide could be coming from a rayon plant near the Ft. Worth Stockyards.
Refutation of SourcesEmission Inventory for the NAS confirmed no carbon disulfide is emitted. EPA confirmed that chloroform was never a constituent or byproduct at Lockheed Martin Air Force Plant No. 4.Carbon disulfide not emitted in gasoline, diesel or jet exhaust according to EPA.The rayon plant was non-existent. There are no rayon plants in North Texas. Spotlight squarely back onto real issue: levels of carbon disulfide in air 300x the norm and benzene. Compounds known to occur in geological formations.
Action or Inaction? In September, 2009, the City of Ft. Worth assessed data. Concluded that ...evidence provided...does not demonstrate adverse health effects. Suggested waiting for State action in 2011 Legislature. 3000-4000 more wells may be added by 2011.Data sent to Railroad Commission. They never returned calls asking for a meeting. TCEQ agreed to assess data for possible nuisance violation. Concluded that an investigation was warranted to determine possible sources of the sulfur compounds.
Action and CatalystPrivate research project to be conducted jointly by SMU Lyle School of Engineering and UNT Health Science Center.Air sampling conducted near drilling sites in Ft. Worth.Particular emphasis on areas with high density populations, schools, medical facilities, etc. Data will be analyzed by SMU and turned over to UNT for peer review and assessment of human health impacts. Private funds are being raised and testing has begun.
Testing Begins in TexasTesting began in Barnett Shale in August, 2009.Partial lab results released October, 2009. Benzene levels found to be high near gas rigs in Barnett Shale area, exceeding short term ESLs in many areas. No testing for sulfur compounds has been conducted yet but TCEQ monitoring crews verbally confirmed that odorous compounds were present. After release of TCEQ results, Mayor Moncrief of Ft. Worth stated, Identifying the impacts of gas drilling on our neighborhoods and to the health and safety of our citizens remains a top priority.
Low Emission TechnologyEnvironmentally Friendly Drilling Systems Program. Identified 120 different technologies.Can reduce air emissions up to 99%.Highly cost effective. Williams Co. states that for every $1 spent on air pollution control they are making $9.Technologies being used at DFW Airport to contain emissions.Devon Energy voluntarily does not flare. No drilling in densely populated areas.
Low Emission Technology...having a program that has the potential to lighten the impacts of gas drilling in environmentally sensitive areas such as...urban areas in the South...is extremely important...Only by setting environmentally responsible standards can public officials protect the environment while providing access to these resources.-Richard Haut, Drilling Contractor, March/April 2009
In ConclusionResidents in and around Ft. Worth now live in a producing gas field. There is no historical precedent.This will continue for the next 40 years. Economic benefits to the area are enormous but we must reap these benefits responsibly. No emission and low emission technology exists and is cost effective. It must be used.It is being used in environmentally sensitive areas such as National Parks. Human habitat is just as important.
I founded the dairy in 2003. Since that time, I have won several national awards for my cheese at the American Cheese Society Competition in one of the most competitive categories if not the most competitive. My company has received extensive media coverage... I am known for innovative, progressive farming techniques and as such have been written up in the national farming press and invited to speak at national farming conferences. I am one of only three pasture based goats dairies in the U.S. This is important and has been the cornerstone of my success to date in that good cheese is like good wine... it is a product of the land. Whatever the goats eat in the way of forages and what they drink with regard to the mineral content and pH of the water is translated into the cheese. There is a symbiotic relationship between the pasture forage and the water from our well that enables me to make a product that truly cannot be replicated any where else.