Sunday, September 28, 2014

Catching up on some photos

Here are a few pictures I've shot in recent days while taking a break from a number of noncritical activities, defined as bringing money into the house and replacing a water line.

First, a visit to one of my favorite spots along the Ohio River showed that several days without rain have left the river low and clear. It allows me to count the tires lying in shallow water along the shoreline.

It also allows met to see what other kinds of litter have been deposited in the river by visitors. Among the trash are flashlight batteries. Why take dead batteries home and put then in the trash when you can just as easily chuck them into the river?

I also saw a boat that is not among the frequent visitors to my area, at least when I get down to the river. It's the Clarence G. Frame of Ingram.

I also tried to get some pictures the other evening that provided a contrast of light and shadow, but when I got the camera home I noticed that a piece of lint or vegetative matter had gotten onto my filter. It was just big enough to cause a black spot on my best pictures. So I'll have to try again.

Fracking under the Ohio

The state of West Virginia recently opened bids from companies that want to extract natural gas under the Ohio River from processes known as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

I have done a few stories on fracking, but I am nowhere near confident enough to say whether West Virginia's proposal is a good one or a bad one. What I do know is that from what I have seen, heard and read, most of the problems from fracking are not from groundwater contamination. The big problems are above ground: trucks on roads to narrow for them; noise pollution; light pollution; disregard for regulations; social problems from an influx of labor; and many, many more.

Fracking is well-established in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It's not going away. Extracting gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Marcellus and Utica shales has revived some industries.

The concern here is that a drilling accident up in the hills could result in pollution or contamination in a small stream. Along the Ohio River, it could contaminate the drinking water supply of hundreds of thousands of people. Thus we'll have to see whether this is regulated more closely than other operations.