I am a small town farmer from Western Pennsylvania. Whether horizontal or vertical wells are drilled, there is destruction and contamination from spills and run-off.
I have lived on this farm since 1988. This property was leased back in 1921. The gas company, Dominion, came to my farm in 2007 and said, “We’re going to drill two wells on your property.” They acted like dictators. They did what they wanted to do. I had no say.
A two-year-old cow died, 10 calves were stillborn, and 4 were blind (2 had blue eyes and 2 had white eyes). This affects the animals something terrible. I had to get rid of my bull, because he became sterile. I called the DEP, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Also, we called the gas company. No one helped me. The DEP sided with the gas company when I called them. I was told by the DEP, “There’s nothing wrong with this. They dump the water.” The damage was done.
My drinking water went bad in January 2008. It looked like iced tea. When I called the company, they said, “Don’t drink it.” The gas company only tested my well that was for drinking water and my spring. They had no interest in testing the water my animals drank or answering to what chemicals killed my cattle. They came and drilled 5 wells to find a water well. The water was so salty you couldn’t drink it. They refused to supply us with water because we couldn’t drink it. I have been paying $800 a year for water since.
In my own field, the gas company said, “Get an attorney. Prove it.” They threw garbage on my property and buried frack pits with plastic liners sticking up in places…This is what they do to you. I lost 6 acres of hayfield to the roads they built. They came one day, cut the fence and did what they wanted to do. When I hauled their garbage to the road, because I didn’t want them burying it on my property, they accused me of blocking the road with garbage. They have even taken me to court.
I sell cattle for food. My business is bad now since it is not nearly as profitable. This has been hard on us and has caused a lot of stress and pressure. I am losing over $10,000 per year in lost cattle and hayfield. Much more money has been lost than has been collected in royalties from the wells on my farm.
In 2009, a Dominion employee told me, “The wells are drilled. We’re done with you.” These people just ruin your life.
- Terry Greenwood
Editor's Note: On June 8th, 2014, Terry passed away from glioblastoma, a rare brain cancer.
Reprinted from Shalefield Stories with permission. Learn more about Terry's story on their site.