Press release: Vertical fracking begins at Belfry well – July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014

Categories: Agriculture, News, Northern Plains Resource Council, Oil and gas

By Northern Plains Resource Council

Last week the Energy Corporation of America (ECA), an oil company from Pennsylvania which is drilling a controversial well outside of Belfry, took the controversial step of vertical hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

ECA has submitted both a “Notice of Intention to Perforate or Cement” and a “Notice of Intention to Stimulate or Chemically Treat” the Hunt Creek 1-H well. A next step would be to drill up to two miles horizontally.

Fracking is the process of injecting high volumes of water and chemicals at extremely high pressure to break open rock layers and extract oil or natural gas. Fracking not only uses millions of gallons of water but has been linked to water contamination and health problems in communities with high fracking activity.

“This is why the state’s 48-hour rule needs to be changed, no one living around this well has been notified in any way about what is going on, nor do they have any opportunity to comment on it. That is not public participation and it is not transparent,” said Bonnie Martinell, an organic farmer near the well site. “People that are going to be impacted need to notified and have input on the things that are going to affect them.”

According to Montana code 36.22.608, the ECA only needs to alert the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation of its intentions, with minimal plans or information before it begins fracking.

“We know there is something down there that the ECA is after, and we need to be alert and prepared for major changes to come our way.  We can’t just let something happen to our community and ask for help afterwards.”

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