Arvin California: Expert Says Independent Air Sample of Evacuated Home Shows Relatively High Levels of Chemicals Linked to Hydraulic Fracturing

Expert Says Independent Air Sample of Evacuated Home in Arvin Shows Relatively High Levels of Chemicals Linked to Hydraulic Fracturing Press Release, May 5, 2014, Global Community Monitor – Empowering Communities

Meanwhile Silence from Officials is Deafening – No Responses to Public Record Requests

More than a month after being evacuated from their homes in Nelson Court, some families members affected by the oil gas leaks still have many questions unanswered and little information on the safety of their families. Yet a second air sample taken in early April near Nelson Court shows that the bucket sample revealed eight different oil gases commonly found at hydraulic fracturing sites throughout the U.S. The findings definitely raise new questions and concerns, and yet there are no answers coming from County Officials, the Air Board, or any single agency.

Gustavo Aguirre Jr, of Global Community Monitor and the Arvin Bucket Brigade, and a resident of Nelson Court , took the air sample. Aguirre Jr has continued to visit the residents of Nelson CT on a regular basis. “It is definitely a question of where these fracking oil gases are coming from. Are they currently fracking in Arvin? Are they burning these oil gases via flares from other recently fracked wells? Are these oil gases being exhumed by the Semi-Permanent ventilation system in the neighborhood?” Aguirre Jr said.

According to Dr. Mark Chernaik, who reviewed the data sample stated that, “What makes the sample so interesting is that the hodgepodge of chemicals found at relatively high levels (Ethylbenzene, α-pinene, d-limonene, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol) reads like a who’s who list of hydraulic fracturing chemicals.”

The Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment community organizer, Juan Flores states, “As the new air sample results have come to light, we can only conclude that today we have more questions than answers. It is of the utmost importance that both the local and county authorities take an active role in determining the health risks that these chemicals have on our residents’ health.   We believe that authorities have an obligation to develop an effective plan that will protect the health of all the residents in Arvin, a plan that must include input from residents of Arvin, especially neighbors and their families that were evacuated.

Sal Partida, president of The Committee for a Better Arvin (CBA), stated that “We as a committee are concerned about the health of Arvin residents, and we (CBA) want to reach out to residents and help out in any form they might need. We demand that the County does a full evaluation of the homes before they let any families back in. How will the County assure that it will be safe for the families to return if they have yet to release any sample information they have collected from soil and air?”

Kern County’s Public Health Department has been collecting the results of data samples from a private company that Petro Capital has licensed to monitor the air. According to the Public Health Department, the residents will only be allowed back in their homes when the sample results yield zero gases. If and when the County gives residents the “green light” to move back into their homes, how are residents to know for sure that it is safe? The results of those air samples have yet to be released despite public requests for them.

The independent air testing program, known as the “Bucket Brigade,” empowers pollution-affected residents to take scientifically credible samples using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved methods and laboratories.  [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

Shale Gas Plagued By Unusual Methane Leaks, Scientists investigate high levels of damaging gas released in fracked areas

British medical journal, The Lancet, writes story on plight of Peace River-area families dealing with bitumen pollution

Lawyer asks court to shut Baytex bitumen plant releasing harmful pollution that forced Alberta families to vacate their homes years ago

AER shows its true colours: caves to polluting tarsands company, allows Baytex to continue harmful emissions 4 more months!

Colorado Investigates a Spike in Fetal Abnormalities Near Natural Gas Drilling Site, A prevalence of anomalies such as low birth weight and congenital heart defects are found within a 10 mile radius of a concentration of gas wells

Toxic pollution, odors caused by Baytex heavy oil operations in the Peace River area need to be eliminated says AER; Two-tiered AER? 

Big Oil, Bad Air: Where has the College been all these years? Why not SUPPORT ALL ALBERTA DOCTORS treating citizens and workers poisoned by oil and gas? Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons tells Peace River doctors it will support them in face of intimidation

Where are the regulators in Alberta? Fed up with toxic fumes: families suffering ill health ask Peace River court for 8 month injunction to shut down 46 wells and 86 venting tanks owned by Baytex Energy

Big oil, big fracing, big problems? The Hawkwoods frac’d in the Lochend: health problems, dead cattle and earthquakes causing property damage

Fracking the Hawkwoods near Calgary, dead cows and…RADIATION? ]

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