Twice Poisoned: More From Prairie County | Green Arkansas

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Twice Poisoned: More From Prairie County

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 9:21 AM

There's been a lot of discussion here about the ADEQ hearing that was held in Prairie County on Tuesday night.  Attendees have voiced their frustration with the event, which they believe gave an all-too-rosy picture of what happens at land-application sites for drilling fluids across the state.  Here's a couple of letters that I've received over the past day and a half or so.

On October 14, 2008, ADEQ held a meeting on the proposed Prairie County Land Farm, LLC. The residents of the community of Cross Roads and the surrounding area made a solid case against the proposed dumping of byproducts of natural gas drilling from the Fayetteville Shale.

There is currently no active drilling in Prairie County. Citizens pointed out that dumping this liquid in reserve pits then applying it to the topsoil would contaminate the land, destroy wild life, contaminate the aquifer and streams in the area, as well as cause health problems to the residents due to the toxic chemicals residing in the liquid that they propose to dump.

ADEQ had a slide show showing this liquid being discharged on a beautiful green pasture, and all is happy in the world. This is by far not the case; the reserve and discharge area in the Carlisle area is a cesspool of toxins pooled on top of the ground and polluting the stream that lies parallel with the land application. ADEQ allows the permit holder to self-police the fluids that are being brought in to dump. ADEQ staff stated that the fluid did not contain toxins, but it is in their management plan for the pits. The 13 pits that exist in the state are all operating with violations and have never been shut down. Very few fines have been handed down for the violations.

The area that ADEQ wants to allow these toxins to be dumped in is a rice, soybean, and minnow farming community. Part of the toxins that are to be dumped in this area are exchangeable sodium (salt) which will filter into the aquifer. Once the sodium gets into the aquifer, the rice farmers will be pumping salt water onto their fields which will, in turn, kill the crop. People still bathe and drink from ground water in this area. They will be consuming Mercury, Chlorides, Arsenic and many other toxic heavy metals. The same goes for the livestock and wildlife in the area, both of which are consumed by residents – so we’ll be poisoned twice, by our water and our food.

To what end does the benefit of the few outweigh the suffering of many? In the meeting, ADEQ could not intelligently answer most of the questions posed by a well-educated and informed group of people that oppose this dumping. Yet they seem intent on allowing this contamination of our Natural State and turning it into The Toxic State. To close, why did ADEQ find it necessary to take pictures of the people that chose to speak at the meeting?

Terry Ashmore


Arkansas Times:

Thank you for your coverage of this new gas well dump being proposed for Cross Roads community in Prairie County.

ADEQ, by their own records and admissions, is not even properly protecting our enviornment at the existing thirteen (13) sites in violation, including one right here three (3) miles from Carlisle.  Now, they are wanting to approve & force another one into our community?  Everyone in this area objects to it except the one site land owner, who simply wants their money.  ADEQ should delay this permit decision until they can clean up & correct the many existing violations, and then, consider a permit for a new one.

We also thank you for your "Shale Watch".

Bill R. Webb
Carlisle, AR

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