Brown Foam

When the frackers began to ramp- up their fracking activities in our county, just over a decade ago, my greatest pollution concerns were for our streams, rivers and lakes. It made perfect sense then, and even more sense now, as we have seen repeated spills, leaks and documented environmental violations around fracking. Enough so, that I eventually coined this phrase:

“If they’re drilling they’re spilling.”

I spent over a thousand dollars on a Nikon camera with a “long lens” (70/300mm) and began patrolling local waterways near hydraulic fracturing sites. Not far from some problematic Atlas gas wells near West Middletown, I snapped these photos eleven years ago:

Just over a year later, on May 15, 2011, in that same fracked township, there was a fracking flowback spill and fish kill in one of my favorite scenic waterways, Brush Run:

The same company responsible for that Brush Run spill, had another similar spill and fish kill, two years earlier on May 26, 2009, inside our county park:

Almost forgot the spill by that same gas producer, in between those two dates, and in between those two locations:

A sane person might ask why they are still allowed to work in our Washington County, but you have to understand that our county commissioners are ALL IN on fracking: past, present and future! They’ve apparently brushed- off comments I’ve made at their meetings over a 5 year period:

Speaking of Washington County Parks, I snapped this photo of brown foam in another one of my favorite creeks that’s surrounded by drilling and fracking. Not far from there was a Bentonite Blowout during Mariner East pipeline work.

It was a deja vu all over again (as Yogi would say) when I snapped a couple photos yesterday, of brown foam in nearby Chartiers Creek. I noticed how sudsy it was 8 years ago, but my reports to the proper authorities appeared to go nowhere, so it was out of sight, out of mind until these two news reports surfaced late last week:

Fish and Boat officials investigate ‘significant fish kill’ in Chartiers Creek

Thousands Of Dead Fish Spotted in Chartiers Creek

Both news reports indicated that the spill and fish kill originated in our township, and extended for 7- miles all the way to the Ohio River! I’d already had my eye on the part of Chartiers Creek, along Buckeye Street in Peters Township, where this first photo was taken yesterday:

Travelling further downstream, I found another glob of brown foam held by a downed tree near the South Fayette Township and Upper St. Clair Township line near the Mayview Road bridge:

I’ve been told by water specialists that some foam in streams is “naturally occurring” but this stuff looks like anything but “natural”

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