Fracking boom could lead to housing bust; August 2013 Signs at Rosebud: Encana and Remax

Pennsylvania home values worrisome 
for Coloradans who live near drilling by Bill Grant, September 3, 2013, Grand Junction Sentinel
As oil and gas drilling in Colorado, both on the Front Range and, more recently, the Western Slope, moves into urban areas, a recent report in sends a chilling message to homeowners in communities like Parachute, DeBeque and, soon, Whitewater that are in close proximity to oil and gas fracking operations. Already faced with falling property values, their financial futures could be compromised further by an inability to sell their homes at all. According to a Bradford County real estate broker in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale area, “residential mortgage lending is an especially murky situation” where homes are located near fracking operations. Grist reports, “National lenders are becoming more cautious about underwriting mortgages for properties near fracking, even ones they would have routinely financed in the past.”

With 93 percent of Bradford County leased to gas companies, large national banks are, according to Grist, no longer offering mortgages in the county. Area banks, dependent on the local mortgage market, are still lending, but the big ones like Wells Fargo have pulled out.  Bradford County couple was refused a new mortgage on their $230,000 home because, as Quicken Loans explained in an email, “Unfortunately, we are unable to move forward with this loan. It is located across the street from a gas drilling site.” … 

“Lawyers, realtors, public officials and environmental advocates from Pennsylvania to Arkansas to Colorado are noticing that banks and federal agencies are revisiting their lending policies to account for the potential impact of drilling on property values, and in some cases are refusing to finance property with or even just near drilling activity.”

… An FHA spokesman explained to Grist, “FHA is primarily concerned with the health and safety of the occupants of the dwelling. If the property is subject to smoke, fumes, offensive noise and odors, etc. to the extent they would endanger the health of the occupants then the property is ineligible. FHA is also concerned with the risk to the insurance fund. So if the property is subject to those same items and the health of the occupants is not endangered, but the marketability of the property is compromised, the property may not be eligible for FHA insurance.” Insurance is another growing problem for homeowners with gas or oil facilities on or near the property, since many homeowner policies do not cover damages caused by fracking operations. The possibility of not obtaining insurance makes it essentially impossible to buy or sell property where fracking is nearby. 

Fracking boom could lead to housing bust by Roger Drouin, August 16, 2013, The Grist
Lawyers, realtors, public officials, and environmental advocates from Pennsylvania to Arkansas to Colorado are noticing that banks and federal agencies are revisiting their lending policies to account for the potential impact of drilling on property values, and in some cases are refusing to finance property with or even just near drilling activity. Real estate experts say another problematic trend is that many homeowners insurance policies do not cover residential properties with a gas lease or gas well, yet all mortgage companies require homeowners insurance from their borrowers. … Last month, a landowner in Madison, N.Y., was surprised when their insurance company refused to renew their homeowners policy because there is a conventional gas well on their property.

2013 08 09 Signs at Rosebud, Alberta: Encana and Remax 2.JPG

Photos taken August 9, 2013. Installation of new equipment at the Rosebud community drinking water reservoir (red building) in the background. Is this to make the hamlet water safe and clean? How?

Alberta government tests in 2006 on the hamlet water supply, detected kerosene range hydrocarbons and ethane and methane. The methane concentration was higher than the level of explosive risk reported by The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) in 1996.

The Ernst property, that relied on a private water well now also dangerously contaminated, is about 400 metres south west of the water reservoir. Encana repeatedly frac’d the fresh water aquifers that supply the community, Ernst well and others, in 2004.

Encana shallow fracing at Rosebud before mandated Baseline Testing April 2006 shows location water tower that exploded in 2005

Click on map to access PDF that can be zoomed in on to read legal land descriptions of Encana’s wells. The black are conventional and deeper unconventional wells.

[Refer also to:

2013: Science be damned, EnCana wants to inject waste into drinking water aquifer

2013: EnCana’s Gerard Protti Chair of Alberta’s AER, the energy regulator that swallows up Alberta Environment, Alberta’s Water and the ERCB

2013: Development in Rosebud, water will be upgraded to make sure it safe and clean – how?2013: Hydraulic Fracturing in Canada, Federal Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan Reports Concerns, List of Fracking Substances in Canada Still Secret

2013: United States Geological Survey – methane in water near Silt found most detections near where EnCana received record fine from the regulator for contaminating creek with benzene and methane

2013: Prof says fracking has sordid track record

2013: Oil and gas industry contaminated families in Alberta get zero funding to replace dangerously contaminated water wells or relocate; Premier Redford promises flood victims, even those in known flood plains, unlimited disaster recovery funding

2013: 285 homes in Carson, California contaminated by Shell, experts fear dangerously high levels of methane could cause a massive fireball

2012: Shale Gas Development and Property Values: Differences across Drinking Water Sources

2012: Fracking not Healthy for Real Estate

2012: What… no “Fracking Insurance”?

2012: Not at fault? You may still pay – Faultless Owners of Contaminated Property Beware

2012: The Assessment Review Board Reduces Methane Contaminated Property’s Taxation Value to Zero

2011: Fracking Contamination ‘Will Get Worse’: Alberta Expert Dr. Karlis Muehlenbachs

2011: Fingerprinting of gas contaminating groundwater and soil in a petroliferous region, Alberta, Canada

2008: Encana Passes the Buck on Contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming

2005: Investigators say an accumulation of gases appears to have caused the explosion that destroyed the Rosebud water tower and sent a Wheatland County employee to hospital ]

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