Fracking-related Monitoring

Question 1: Does anyone have resources to share as related to pipeline-related impact monitoring?

Question 2: Does anyone have experience with monitoring runoff from sand mines?

Question 1

From: Faith Zerbe (
Date: May 22, 2012

Hello monitoring friends,

With the gas rush in PA at full tilt, many of us in PA are struggling with large and small pipelines criss-crossing the state to carry fracked gas from the shale regions….A few Pennsy groups have been working on datasheets and protocols for pipelines but I wanted to check in with others across the nation to see if you have tools and info you can share to help us with this work.

The key things that are problems so far that we have seen are sediment and E&S related issues during construction and after (due to poor restoration or lack of restoration) as well as hydrologic changes and impacts to wetlands that appear far from “temporary”. In the case of just one loop of pipeline (Tennessee 300 line) we have found the following track record:

Below a video showing Tennessee Gas Pipeline work just this month….the rub here is Tennessee’s gas line was operating and carrying gas back in Nov of 2011…but despite the mild winter and calls from the local agencies and Riverkeeper, TGP waited until May, 2012 to start “final restoration, seeding, and stabilization.” This was of course during the amphibian window with many juveniles in the wetlands that had to be re-disturbed again by the pipeline companies. The permit for the pipeline allowed for this lag of time which will be a big thing we will comment on in the next proposed loop (This is also in High Quality and Exceptional Value watersheds and on state lands.)

Here also some photos taken by monitors:

Anyway, I know others may be dealing with these issues too so as we develop these tools wanted to ask around for others working on this issue too. You an email me at or 215-369-1188 ext 110…I can share with all based on what I receive.


Faith Zerbe
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
925 Canal Street, 7th Floor Suite 3701
Bristol PA 19007
Phone: 215.369.1188 x110
Cell: 610-291-1403
Fax: 215.369.1181

Question 2

From: Stepenuck, Kris (
Date: Oct 9, 2012

Hi everyone,

I’m wondering if anyone has experience with monitoring runoff from sand mines?


Kristine Stepenuck
Water Action Volunteers Stream Monitoring Program Coordinator
445 Henry Mall, Rm 202
Madison WI 53706
608-265-3887 (MTF)
608-264-8948 (WR)
608-575-2413 (mobile)

Responses to Question 2

From: Turyk, Nancy (
Date: Oct 11, 2012

Sand is going to be tricky since it tends to quickly settle out. I’m wondering about surrogate chemistry. Is it runoff from the mine that is of concern or somewhere in the process?

From: Chris Riggert (
Date: Oct 10, 2012

We don’t have much in the way of sand mining here (except for what they suck out of the Missouri River). However, we do have some folks that monitor downstream of in-stream gravel mining operations. Let me know if you want a bit more info!



Christopher M. Riggert
Stream Team Program
Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program Coordinator
Missouri Department of Conservation
P.O. Box 180

2901 W. Truman Blvd.
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180
Phone: (573) 522-4115 ext. 3167
Fax: (573) 526-0990


From: Lundt, Steve (
Date: Oct 10, 2012


I don’t specifically but just downstream of Denver, CO along the S. Platte River we have about 20 miles of sand quarries where they have open pit mining of sand along the river. The companies wash their sand and also deal with pumping shallow groundwater and I am sure they all have to do monitoring for the state. Most of it is taking water samples from discharge pipes to the river.

I would search the internet for stuff around Denver.


From: Shane Mudd (
Date: Oct 9, 2012

I don’t believe we have direct experience with our test on sand mine runoff, but QwikLite has been involved in sediment toxicity tests, and I see that toxicity is a concern in sand mining when sediment is dredged, so may be an approach worth considering. Are you looking at inland mines or marine?

We’re always interested to discuss potential new applications – feel free to give me a call if you would like to discuss.


Shane Mudd | Applications Specialist | Rapid Assurance of Water Quality
Assure Controls, Inc. | 703.477.5069 |


From: Brissman, Barry (
Date: Oct 18, 2012

New from Cooperative Extension Publishing . . .

Planning and Zoning for “Frac Sand” Mining (G4005-01)

Evaluating Nonmetallic Mining: County Comprehensive Plans (G4005-02)

Evaluating Nonmetallic Mining: County Zoning Ordinances (G4005-03)

Evaluating Nonmetallic Mining: Comprehensive Plans and Zoning Ordinances (G4005-04)

By Anna Haines

Wisconsin has large deposits of precisely the kind of sand needed for the now-popular hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of extracting oil and natural gas. As a result, mining sand and exporting it to other states is suddenly a booming business in Wisconsin.

The G4005 series of publications is designed to help Wisconsin communities anticipate and head off problems that may be caused by Wisconsin’s sudden boom in sand mining, including problems with groundwater, air quality, reclamation after a mine is closed, truck traffic on local roads, dust, noise, and so on. The author discusses tools, such as comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances, that communities may use to regulate sand mining operations, and she ranks counties according to how successfully they are using those tools.

Download them for free at The Learning Store

877-WIS-PUBS (877-947-7827)

Barry Brissman, editor

Coop Extension Publishing
219 Extension Building
432 North Lake Street
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: 608-262-7444
Fax: 608-265-2530


From: Anderson, Christina R – DNR (
Date: Oct 12, 2012
Thought you would be interested in this doc from the DNR – (see section 5.2, impacts to water resources)

Possible things to consider if monitoring:

Surface water depletion through groundwater:
high cap wells installed for processing
dewatering if the sand is mined below the water table

Surface water quality through groundwater contamination:
Use of polyacrylamides as a flocculent to remove unwanted minerals… if dewatering happens, easy for this floc to make it to the groundwater through the sand wash water (says the acrylamides “appear” to be biodegradable in aerated soils)..but would only be an issue at mines that also process onsite.

Surface water (section 5.2.2)
Directly mining from stream or lake bed
Surface/stormwater (regulated under WPDES permits and under NR135 reclamation permit)

What might be monitored:
pH (under permit, must be between 6-9), temp (some wash water is heated before being discharged), TSS, potentially Si (but may be able to use TSS as a surrogate).

Also, note that the report stated that facilities are only capable of containing storm water discharges up to a 10 or 15- year rain event. So anything more than that will runoff to surface water.

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