Sacrificed Zones

Sacrificed Zones: Hydraulic Fracturing, Pipeline Expansion, and Gas Export In The Mid-Atlantic: This collaborative project is a photographic exploration of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing, gas pipeline expansion, and gas export in the state of Maryland and beyond. A majority of United States citizens are not aware of the potentially severe environmental impacts and externality costs of the gas industry - this information is not usually aired or discussed on television news. As climate change and pollution plague our planet, it is our societal responsibility to begin transitioning to a sustainable infrastructure. Sustainability is key to preserving our resources for future generations. Photographic documentaries can serve as a framework for change, and can work to inspire future generations of creative minds and innovators. We believe that photographs accompanied by scientific data that further explain the imagery, may be the most effective way of conveying the truths of our human-inflicted environmental disasters. This project was entered into the 2015 MICA Competitive Scholarship and was awarded the Photo Departmental Recognition Award Scholarship.

 

Columbia Gas Transmission Pipeline
Construction Cutting Through Western Run
Thorton Mill Road, Hunt Valley, Maryland
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein

 
“And while natural gas pipelines have a proven record of safety, pipeline failures can and sometimes do occur. Hazards associated with a pipeline failure and gas release may include blowing gas, line rupture, fire, explosion or, if gas is present in a confined area, possible asphyxiation.” 
(Be Our Partner: In delivering Safe And Reliable Energy brochure,
Columbia Pipeline Group, Charleston WV)

 
Columbia Gas Transmission Pipeline
Harford County, Maryland
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein
 
“These high-pressure pipelines, ranging in size up to 36-inches in diameter, lie safely out of view, quietly carrying clean-burning natural gas across the eastern United States. The gas flowing through this network heats our nation’s homes, cooks our families’ meals, and fuels our nation’s industries.”
 
(Be Our Partner: In delivering Safe And Reliable Energy brochure,
Columbia Pipeline Group, Charleston WV)
 

 

Truck Staging Site
Trout Run, Pennsylvania
Photograph by David M. Haas
“Well pad water management generally includes staging water tanks or constructing ponds to hold water, and using trucks to convey the 2-6 million gallons of water needed for the hydraulic fracturing.” 
(Recommended Best Management Practices for Marcellus Shale Gas Development in Maryland, Appalachian Laboratory) 
 
 

Well Pad In The Forest
Hyner Run State Park, PA
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein


DEP Office of Oil And Gas Management Compliance Report:
Inspection ID: 2250596
Date: 03/05/2014
Inspection Client Name: XTO Energy INC
Violation ID: 690078
Violation Type: Environmental Health And Safety
Violation Code & Description: 78.54* - Failure to properly control or dispose of industrial or residual waste to prevent pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth. 
 
 

Processing Facility Along Hyner Run
Hyner Run State Park, Pennsylvania
Photograph by David M. Haas 
DEP Office of Oil And Gas Management Compliance Report:
“Inspection ID: 2250596
Date: 03/05/2014
Inspection Client Name: XTO Energy INC
Violation ID: 690078
Violation Type: Environmental Health And Safety
Violation Code & Description: 78.54* - Failure to properly control or
dispose of industrial or residual waste to prevent pollution of the
waters of the Commonwealth.” 
 
 
Well Pad Along Hyner Run
Hyner Run State Park, Pennsylvania
Photograph by David M. Haas
 
Pennsylvania regulators found an array of contaminants in 246 private water supplies they said were damaged by oil and gas operations during the past seven years; as of December 2014.

(PA DEP, Water Supply Determination Letters)
 

 
Processing Facility Machinery
Hyner Run State Park, Pennsylvania
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein
 
According to the Pennsylvania DEP Office Of Oil And Gas Management Compliance Report, from July 2006 to December 2014 the PA DEP carried out 12,697 inspections on 8,082 gas wells. The total number of discovered violations reached 22,140, with only 6,558 enforcements. 
 
(PA DEP Office Of Oil And Gas Management Compliance Report, 12/13/14 12:57 pm)
 
 
Clearcutting The Forest
Hyner Run State Park, PA
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein
 
"One of the trucks pulled over and helped us find our way to 7 Mile Road, and towards our destination. There were countless logging areas along the road where they were beginning to develop the land."


(Journal Entry, Austin Green Weinstein, March 2014)

 
Entering The “Industrialized Forest”
Tioga State Forest, Pennsylvania
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein


 
DEP Office of Oil And Gas Management Compliance Report:
“Inspection ID: 1996797
Date: 08/10/2011
Inspection Client Name: Seneca Resources Corp
Violation ID: 618270
Violation Type: Environmental Health And Safety
Violation Code & Description: 102.4 - Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls. Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration under OGA Sec 206(c)(d)” 
 


Water Treatment Facility
Williamsport, Pennsylvania 
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein 
"In order to break apart rock and release oil and gas deposits, fracking pumps massive amounts of water and sand mixed with hazardous chemicals into the ground. Huge quantities of this contaminated 'frack fluid' can return to the surface, where it is often dumped into large, open-air pits lined with plastic sheeting. These pits can overflow or rupture, allowing waste to seep into groundwater, contaminate soil or run off into streams or rivers. It can also poison waterways when it's inadequately treated at wastewater plants that are not equipped to handle it." 
(Nature's Voice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Fall 2014)
 
 
Well Pad and Homestead
Trout Run, Pennsylvania
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein 
“Today, more than 15 million Americans live a mile or less from a fracking well. Even as oil and gas companies have embarked on an all- out fracking spree, state and federal protections against this dangerous form of extraction remains shockingly lax or almost nonexistent, despite the myriad threats fracking poses to local water supplies and air quality.” 
(Nature’s Voice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Fall 2014) 
 
 
Proposed Well Pad Site
Garrett County, Maryland
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein 
Life is not lived solely in an isolated realm of scientific, logical or political intellect. Instead, our souls are moved most deeply when our knowledge is combined and settled with the environmental reality that surrounds us. We know the necessary refreshment of a cool drink of pure water and the delicious sensations of a healthy meal. Our experience is only enhanced when our sensations are coupled with the intellectual knowledge that our water is in fact pure and our food was raised in a non-toxic and healthful environment. 
The Mid-Atlantic region is an important source of human inspiration, refreshment, and industry. It is my sincere hope that you will experience through this work the depth of the human and environmental sacrifice we are poised to make on the altar of wealth and convenience. 
Sincerely,
Patrick Riley
 
 
 
The Savage River Below The Reservoir 
Savage River State Park, MD
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein 
"It was estimated by USGS that in the year 2000, Allegany and Garrett County withdrew on average 48.9 and 9.6 million gallons per day (MGD), respectively, from all surface water and groundwater sources. Over the course of an entire year, this works out to a combined volume of about 21.4 billion gallons of water. Thus, the combined annual withdrawals by these two counties alone would be equivalent to the amount of water required to develop about 3,500 Marcellus shale gas wells in the state."  
(Recommended Best Management Practices for Marcellus Shale Gas Development in Maryland, Appalachian Laboratory) 
 


Gas Compression Facility, 
Accident, Maryland
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein

"Based on prior evidence regarding negative impact of noise exposures and noise monitoring results from UNGDP [Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Production] sites that included our own monitoring results from WV, we conclude that there is a Moderately High Likelihood that UNGDP related changes in noise exposure will have negative impacts on public health in Garrett and Allegany Counties."


(Potential Public Health Impacts of Natural Gas Development and Production in the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health)



Dominion Energy Pipeline
Myersville, Maryland
Photograph by David M. Haas 
“The surge in drilling has meant trillions of cubic feet of natural gas are being pumped out of Pennsylvania every year. And now billions of dollars are flooding into the state for new pipeline projects to move that gas to market. It’s the next phase of the fracking boom: energy companies are building their own sort of interstate highway system—a network of pipelines.” 
(As pipelines proliferate, Pennsylvania sees next phase of gas boom, State Impact, Pennsylvania, NPR)
 

Dominion Cove Point LNG Terminal
Chesapeake Bay, Lusby, Maryland
Photograph by Austin Green Weinstein 
“The assumption that natural gas will be cheap and abundant for the foreseeable future has prompted fuel switching from coal to gas, along with investment in new generation and gas distribution infrastructure, investment in new North American manufacturing infrastructure, and calls for exporting the shale gas bounty to higher-priced markets in Europe and Asia. Given these assumptions—and the investments being made and planned because of them—it is important to understand the long-term supply limitations of U.S. shale gas.” 
(Drilling Deeper, A Reality Check on U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom, By J. David Hughes)
 
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