updated 2/15/05

a few examples of why we need effective supervision over the Gas & Oil Industry in the State of Michigan
(pictures taken in NE. Michigan/Montmorency County)


left click once on the picture
to view enlarged  image
click on the picture to view enlarged image   1
Underground boring rig with trail of
sludge on left side of frame

click on the picture to view enlarged image 2
Trail of sludge running down
into the cedar swamp

click on the picture to view enlarged image 3
View from below in
cedar swamp
(note standing pool of sludge
underneath log across picture frame)

Crooked Creek
'Under the Creek' Boring violation
1st week of June 2002

Site located on Crooked Creek between Avery Lake and Crooked Lake - SW section 25/SE section 26 in Montmorency County, south of Atlanta

After investigating what I thought was another well drilling iperation,  I discovered a Boring Rig (shown in top picture) that was operating with no silt fence. Thus, all the sludge coming out of the pipe borer was running right back into the cedar swamp.  (Pictures 2 & 3 ) 

DEQ Field Officer, Ann Stephens was called out to the site and when we returned, the boring rig was gone but several empty bags of bentonite were strewn about the site.  (Average Joe citizen would possibly be fined for litering)    She researched the operation and found that the company didn't even file for a permit to drill underneath a waterway.

Corrective measures included a "letter of violation".   No fines were imposed.

    How can we expect the industry to cooperate and operate their business concienciously if there are no penalities imposed to force them to cooperate? 

The DEQ continues to issue permits to install new wells when the those same companies that have been cited for violations haven't even cleaned up or corrected former violations issued. 
I feel that no permits should be issued to companies with outstanding violations that need to be corrected.
That isn't only fair,,, but its a wonderful incentive to make sure environmental damage is dealt with. 

(click on the images below for enlarged view)
click HERE to view larger imageclick HERE for larger image

Burst Pipeline gurgling freely for 24 hours

pictures taken 2nd week of August / 2000

Pictures of a line leak on Jack Pine Trail-
The leak was reported at approx. 8:30am and was not shut off until 24 hours later.  The 6' wide / 3'6" deep water filled hole was left un-barracaded. I took it upon myself to flag the hole until the next day when the line was repaired and the hole re-filled. (48 hours after initial report)

The day this occurred was in August the year 2000, on the day when the gas/oil industry shuts down for some sort of 'inventory' or something of the sort.   One year later while complaining about the sound nuisance problem  with Northern Michigan Region DEQ field officer Gene Shoquist, I was informed that not only the gas company  was to notify the DEQ of the leak, but also the county officials I had contacted in the Soil Erosion and Road Commission. This is neccessary as so the DEQ can test the soils for contamination.

click on the picture below 
to view the enlarged image
click on the picture to view enlarged image
(Spring / 2002)
Lovely noise-making screw compressor 
roaring away in the middle of our 
woodlands /  The industry is placing these compressors at the individual well-head on state lands instead of relying on compressor facilities that operate a number of wells 
Faster extraction means the wells will dry up faster / Then,, the royaly checks will stop for mineral owners, then the Industry who still has the gas in surplus will raise the price to the consumer because of the basic laws of supply and demand.
---  The Industry already profits emmensely due to PPC costs imposed on mineral owners. Basically, mineral owners are paying the industry to buy their minerals. (how does that sound?)
Royalty checks are held to a minumum, profits of the Industry soar because the mineral owner is supporting production operations therefore cutting overhead operation expenses of the Gas & Oil Industry.  Doesn't anyone see anything goofy with this picture?
Yet the State gives them their blessings to go about 'business as usual'


click on the picture below 
to view the enlarged image
click on the picture to view enlarged image
   Electrically operated derrick at the same
site.  These units do not pull anywhere near the volume of gas as the compressors, yet it still pulls enough gas for pretty juicy profits and would ensure a longer period of extraction.
   A longer time to extract would mean biggerroyalty checks at the end of the wells life due to the basic laws of supply and demand.
   In gist,,,  the benefit of the mineral owner would be guaranteed a longer period of royalty checks recieved, making the total dollar sum much higher to the mineral owner.
   In other words,, Conservation would mean higher dollar amounts to go to mineral owners.  It'd also make it easier for oversight, to ensure our environment is not poisoned because of hasty & reckless operations

pcitures taken 2/12/05

Marianne Lindstrom of Atlanta bought her home with 30 acres  10 years ago in 1995. 
   3 months after moving in she was looking at a 200'x200' well site being escavated on her property approx 350' from her home. 
   The scenery was tainted by this industrial operation but at least the well pump was a quiet electrically operated derick
   Because she does not own her mineral rights, she had no say at all.  Mineral rights supercede surface rights.

click HERE for a larger view
Marianne tolerated her property invasion for 9 years until the noisey compressor came along. (inside white building shown)    Her moments of tranquility were robbed from her.  No longer was it enjoyable to sit around the fire-pit in the evenings or take a walk around her property.  The constant noise is relentless.
The silent derick - shown on far right 
Compressor inside shed - shown center
Compressor outside of shed -shown far left
click HERE for a larger view
Of these three pieces of extracting equipment (shown above) , the only one operational is the compressor OUTSIDE of the so called "sound house" 
The industry cries that it is too costly to make compressors quiet, yet they waste endless dollars retiring the silent electrically operated pumps (they don't extract as fast as a compressor operated pump),  as well as letting other equipment that need  repairs sit, going on unrepaired or used.

The open compressor that is running ommits a high pitched wail that can be heard a mile away,,, sounding to those residents much like the wail of a distant civil service warning siren.  Just what we expect to hear on a hot summer night up here in the woodlands of the north.
 Imagine how Marianne feels with this but 350' from her home.  The State has exempted the Industry from local zoning ordinances,, that would ordinarily place noisey industrial equipment in Industrial Zoned area's. 

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Public exposure to the exploitation of the Gas & Oil Industry in our precious lands

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