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What in the Fracking World: What the EPA Probably Won’t Be Telling Arkansans

The Arkansas River at Sunset

I am starting to see more stories about the massive fish kill (around 100,000) that occurred last Thursday on the Arkansas River in NorthWest Arkansas. All of these stories suggest that disease is the most likely culprit for the kill. Yes, fish kills are a fairly common event, but not ones as large as this. Even if disease did play its part in this kill, the true culprit is the ever increasing level of toxins found in the Arkansas River due to ill-conceived natural gas harvesting techniques, though I’m sure the chicken houses amongst other point and non-point pollution sources aren’t much help either.

Toluene is a volatile organic compound present in the fracking process that builds up in the freshwater drum (the kind of fish that died); this chemical is deadly for humans as well and will continue to make its way up the food chain and is probably already in your drinking water. Maybe the fish kill is just Oklahoma getting back at Arkansas —  just kidding. In all seriousness though, toluene is used during the fracking process and most likely contributed to the fish kill. Remember toluene is but one of many toxic compounds being release into our surface and groundwater and that means eventually you will be eating these compounds if you aren’t already drinking them. Now that’s food for thought…

Ozark, AR is home to multiple Natural Gas related companies that could have contributed to Thursdays events:

Xto Energy Inc.: Oil and Gas Field Exploration Services

Chrisman Oilfield Service: Oil and Gas Field Services, NEC

Arkansas Western Gas Co.: Mixed, Manufactured, or Liquefied Petroleum Gas Production and/or Distribution

P.S. Some of the links have more info than others but I put them in for a reason. Which is to say, they contain information that is pertinent to my statements.

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Ivan Oleander

Ivan Oleander

I was born accidentally in the fall of '84 to unwed parents. When I was ten months old, my mother and I were in a car accident -- I survived; her sister adopted me. When I was seven, my aunt married an abusive alcoholic who made our lives ... more interesting; the next year, my great grandfather (one of my favorite people) passed away; not long after, another one of my favorite people, my young granny, committed suicide, family and friends continued to pass on, more hilarity ensued. Today I am a full-time college student attending the University of Central Arkansas. I have spent a decent amount of time traveling the country (visited 37 out of 50 states so far) trying to get to know and understand its people. I have worked in restaurants, corn fields, apple orchards, greenhouses, candy factories.... I am currently fulfilling my dream by starting a non-profit. I love this country -- its wonderful and varied people. I know what the hard road looks like and how difficult it can to keep pushing on. I would like to think that I have gained a great deal of experience through the years, though they may be few in number, and I want to use that experience to help as many people as possible, all the while learning and experiencing as much as possible.