Drilling is just the tip of the iceberg. Compressor stations have been associated with significant headaches, bloody noses, skin lesions, blisters, and rashes.
By Nina Berman
December 13, 2011
View a slideshow from award-winning photographer Nina Berman below. You can see more of Nina’s work at NOOR.
The exploding faucet may have launched the movement against fracking, but it’s the unsexy compressor station that is pushing it to maturity.
Last week, more than a hundred activists from Pennsylvania and New York, including actor Mark Ruffalo, brought thousands of gallons of drinking water to 11 families in Dimock, Pa., who had been left dry after Cabot Oil and Gas stopped their water deliveries.
The mess Cabot created in 2009 from shale gas drilling had now been cleaned, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which meant no more water for the Dimock 11, the holdout families in a long-running feud over water contamination and cleanup.
At issue was the safety of well water symbolized by a jug filled with brown fluid taken from Dimock resident Scott Ely’s well. Held aloft by Ruffalo, who was flanked by families and Gasland director Josh Fox, the crowd challenged officials to come and take a swig if the water was so safe. Paul Rubin, a hydrogeologist, painted a grim picture, laying out a future of continued water contamination. The Ely water had arsenic, manganese, aluminum, iron, and lead at several times the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for safe drinking water.
The visuals were dramatic, and the anti-frack action ended with supporters triumphantly holding a huge water line that snaked from a tanker truck on Carter Road to a family’s “water buffalo” — a large storage tank. The Dimock 11 were now supplied.