Terry Greenwood: Washington County PA
Excerpt from “Shalefield Stories - Personal and Collected Testimonies”
Published by Steel Valley Printers
Animal Health Impact: Lost 11 head of cattle, 10 of which were stillborn calves
Industry Dishonesty / Disregard: Company littered and left garbage on property; Removed six acres of hayfields; Cut fences
Loss of Property: 100% loss $125,000 to $0
Loss of Income: $10,000 per year lost revenue due to loss of cattle
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.
The wellhead was 285 feet from my pond. There was a spill on my property a short time later. The frack fluid went into my field and pond. My animals drank this water. I lost 11 cattle. 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 as to what chemicals killed my cattle. They then came and drilled 5 wells to find a water well, but the water was so salty you couldn’t drink it. However, they refused to supply us with water that we could drink. 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