Fracking Company Ignores High Fire Risk as Gas Flares in Michigan State Forest
The Encana State Garfield 1-25 HD 1 well is located in Garfield Township, Kalkaska County, MI. Situated amid state forests and palatial wetlands, the natural gas well was completed via the controversial hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process, in December of 2012, using 12,539,639 gallons of water. The well originates in Section 36 of Garfield Township and the horizontal portion continues into Section 25.
There is a pipeline is currently under construction from the well site and Encana has begun flaring gas from the well in a big way.
The Garfield Fire Department responded to a call at 11:00 p.m., July 20, from a local resident alarmed by the flames. Fire department officials state they had not been informed prior to flaring by Encana, nor have they received any specialized training in connection with fire suppression on a frack pad—which may contain hazardous chemicals, some of which are deemed to be “proprietary” and are not disclosed—even to first responders. There is a high fire danger rating for Kalkaska County, and burning permits are prohibited at the present time in Garfield Township.
“Encana needs to ensure that our Kalkaska County EMS and firefighters are properly informed, properly trained and properly equipped to deal with all potential emergency situations which could develop on their well pads,” states Paul Brady, Kalkaska County resident. “Large amounts of volatile hydrocarbons and chemicals are present on these sites. Protection of our first responders should be top priority.”
Encana plans an additional 500 wells in Michigan, and a second well in Garfield Township, to originate in Section 23. The well is permitted and staked but construction of the pad has not yet begun. An additional 13 wells are currently permitted or applied for on Sunset Trail in Oliver and Excelsior Townships.
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