Why My Wife and I Have Decided NOT to Move to San Juan County, New Mexico

Farmington Aztec Bloomfield New Mexico

Why my wife and I have decided NOT to move to San Quan County, AKA Farmington/Aztec/Bloomfield New Mexico area.

IN A NUTSHELL:  Well, I am a certified RN currently living in Southern Oregon.  My wife and I were sincerely planning to move to the Farmington area to retire as the city has a lot to offer, including great friendly people, beautiful sunsets, rivers, and lake fishing just to mention a few of many great reasons.  However, I was searching for homes in “Zillow” and I noted some interesting photos from satellite earth views of the homes surrounding areas, or even photos of an adjoining property that had these small fenced areas that had an active pump jack (?), or a well plus a large liquid tank nearby in the fenced-off areas I noted. Since I originally grew up in Southern California, I was well aware of what I was seeing and I am an amateur geologist including my friend having a Ph.D. in geology/chemistry who worked for Union 76 oil company in Southern California.  So, I am no stranger to the oil business and how oil is being processed today.  So, when I saw a road servicing the adjacent property to a most beautiful home for sale, I noted the road led to a “pump jack site” with visible water runoff from the site and it appeared to me to be following the landscape towards the home property of a few hundred feet or so.  Note:  I am NOT a big fan of Biden.  I am not an extreme environmentalist… I feel I am an average person who has some common sense.  Thus, my common sense told me to investigate the area before I jump into a home purchase.  First, I asked the REALTORS about what I have found.  Well, to my surprise I was “ghosted”!  Think, not selling homes = no money… hmmm.  Second; I started doing some research on the hydraulic fracking industry that was easily found -- as I was an analyst for the US Navy (20 years).  What I found was that the STATE OF NM elected leaders who appear (in my humble opinion) to care more about the MONEY (millions if not more like Billions of dollars) from the hydraulic fracking industry over possible long-term environmental issues like huge amounts of water usage, further possible groundwater contamination, and beyond!  More importantly, the good people of NM who elected these governmental leaders who I personally feel that it is much better for the good people of NM to put your long-term health concerns (chronic diseases) SECOND over the cash benefits to support the government programs being offered.  But I ask; “Is it worth it?”   Well, my wife and I, money is not everything…. “A healthy environment & a healthy life is priceless, just good old common sense.  And so it goes”.

Here are a few samples of what has been published, just the tip of the iceberg, of the dangers of Hydraulic Fracking for those who maybe placing their head in the sand:

Quote from; Court throws book at BLM over fracking Chaco  --  The agency failed to consider water use.  Jonathan Thompson ANALYSIS June 3, 2019:

 “Over a few days, the fracker’s shoot 1 million or more gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals into each of the hundreds of horizontal wells here. When the water bubbles back up, it is tainted with hydrocarbons, fracking chemicals and brine.” 

Quote from; “STATE OF NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, MINERALS AND NATURAL RESOURCES OIL CONSERVATION COMMISSION IN THE MATTER OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE COMMISSION’S RULES ON PRODUCED WATER 19.15.2, 19.15.16, and 19.15.34 NMAC CASE NO. 21281”, pages 4 & 5:

Experts have attributed a slew of cancers among oil workers in Louisiana to on-the-job radiation exposure with 99 percent certainty.*17 Yet radioactive produced water is – even today – being piped and trucked across New Mexico’s oil fields without testing, without adequate protective equipment for exposed 11 EPA Radiation Waste Material from Oil and Gas Drilling, reference the following:  https://www.epa.gov/radtown/radioactivewaste-material-oil-and-gas-drilling (last accessed July 10, 2020) (attached as WildEarth Guardians Exhibit 6). 12 Id. (Ex. 6). 13 EPA, supra note 1, at 7-20 (Ex. 1). 1414 EPA, supra note 11 (Ex. 6). 15 J. Nobel, America’s Radioactive Secret at 6, Rolling Stone (Jan. 21, 2020), available at: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/oil-gas-fracking-radioactive-investigation-937389/ (attached as WildEarth Guardians Exhibit 7). 16 Id. (Ex. 7). 17 Id. at 9-10 (Ex. 7). 5 workers, and without a regulatory scheme designed to protect against this dire public health and environmental threat. Perhaps even more concerning, of more than a thousand chemicals found by scientists in produced water samples, only 14% have established toxicity values for risk assessment in the United States.18 In other words, the toxicity of 86% of the chemicals found in produced water has never been studied.19 Moreover, less than one-quarter of the nearly 1,200 chemicals identified in produced water can even be detected through standard analytical methods, a huge barrier to fully understand the public health and environmental impacts of produced water reuse.20 Because of this massive data gap, in 2019, EPA found that it lacked the data necessary to quantitatively evaluate “the potential risks associated with releases to the environment” of produced water.”21 B. OCD’s Current Regulatory Scheme is Inadequate to Protect Public Health and the Environment. In light of the clear public health and environmental risks poses by toxic, radioactive produced water, the industry’s track record of managing this largely-unregulated hazardous waste is troubling to say the least.

REPORT: Five Major Health Threats from Fracking-Related Air Pollution -- Most Comprehensive Analysis of Science To-Date Identifies Potential Health Risks and Communities Most Impacted, December 16, 2014:

“A growing body of evidence shows that people both near and far from oil and gas drilling are exposed to fracking-related air pollution that can cause at least five major types of health impacts, according to a new comprehensive analysis of scientific studies to-date by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  The health impacts include respiratory problems, birth defects, blood disorders, cancer and nervous system impacts, raising serious concerns for workers and people living closest to wells, as well as entire regions with high volumes of oil and gas activity.”    Sincerely yours,  ~Dennis Dale