Le Roy Mystery Disease Update: Fracking spill documented on school grounds

Le Roy Mystery Disease Update:

An example of "Safe Fracking"

Le Roy Mystery Disease Update: 2/9/2012. Dangerous fracking- safe fracking? No matter what type of fracking that was going on to obtain gas from wells in and around Le Roy High school, a spill is documented to have occurred on school grounds-  strangely, a month and a half before the first  girl started exhibiting Tourette-like symptoms.

In this video, HLN corespondent Jim Spellman obtained documents revealing that they (I’m assuming he is referring to a drilling company) were cited for the spill which has killed trees and vegetation- right where kids are said to be playing:



Le Roy Mystery Disease Update: Fracking spill documented on school grounds

Despite this spill, officials claim there is still a lack of evidence linking environmental conditions to the mystery disease that has afflicted 16 in the town of Le Roy New York. Nonetheless, William Albert ESQ of Rochester, spokesman for the school district reports that three more girls are exhibiting Tourette-like symptoms and are currently under evaluation:

By Paul Mrozek:  Le Roy Central School officials have posted additional information on the district’s website about students with tic symptoms, environmental testing and natural gas wells at the school.

Officials who ran Saturday’s meeting fielded numerous queries about the gas wells and dead grass and trees around one of them.

According to the district’s fact sheet, there are six wells on Le Roy Central School District’s 30-acre site. The first two were drilled in 1980 and 1981.

In 1991 another pair of wells was drilled. The most recent ones were drilled in August 2008. The die-off of plants and trees occurred when salt water was spilled on the ground.

Le Roy Central officials and its consultants said at Saturday’s community forum that grass and trees died near one well because of brine that spilled on the ground. Monday’s documents stated that water in Medina Sandstone contains salt and some of that liquid is drawn to the surface during gas extraction.

The water and gas must be separated before the gas can be used. The brine is stored in tanks, which are taken off site for proper disposal. No other treatment is necessary for the Le Roy Central School natural gas wells.

The district also reported that four of the wells were done by hydraulically fracturing underground deposits of Medina Sandstone in order to reach pockets of gas. However the technique used at the school was low-volume hydrofracking, not the controversial high-volume hydrofracking that’s become a huge environmental issue in New York.

Four of the Le Roy wells were hydraulically fractured by vertical drilling and using 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of water.

Part of a high-volume fracking well is drilled horizontally; it uses 1 million or more gallons of chemically-treated water for each one. There is a moratorium in New York on use of the high-volume technique.

According to the school district, the majority of Medina Sandstone wells drilled since 1960 in New York state have been low-volume hydrofracked. whole article here

Despite reports of so called “safe facking” in an around the school, hydraulic fracking with perhaps unknown chemicals has occurred in four of the six Le Roy gas wells.  Check this article out (if you haven’t done so already) that shows what has happened to some people when you “frack.”

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  1. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for staying on this story. As we learn more about fracking, I fear that there will be more and more stories like this.

    Keep up the good work!


  2. A PennEnvironment study release this week found that out of a total of 4,596 Marcellus Shale wells drilled in PA between 2008 and 2011, gas operators accumulated 3,355 violations of environmental laws. Those are known violations. Over 70 percent posed a direct threat to the environment – and by extension – to human health. By law -any leak or spill should be made public immediately, so people know to watch for unexplained health consequences. Violations should be fined heavily enough that spilling or leaking fracking fluids is no longer a cost effective means of disposal. And repeat offenders should lose the right to drill, and have their wells impounded. Here’s the PennEnvironment report:http://pennenvironmentcenter.org/news/pac/verge-historic-marcellus-shale-vote-pennenvironment-study-finds-3355-marcellus-violations?__utma=1.622126497.1328305061.1328305061.1328970923.2&__utmb=|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=56479275

  3. Please don’t call this mystery liquid “brine”. Brine is water, salt & spices used to pickle vegetable. Brine is safe for humans to ingest. Of course the shale gas drillers want to call it brine, sometimes they even call it “frack water”, as if a liquid mixed with hundreds of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals could in any, way, shape or form be “water”. The drilling industry has squads of highly paid shills/spinmeisters whose only job is to come up with benign sounding names to call POISON. If a group of Moslems were seen dumping this vile stew in US school yards, bet your rear they’d re-open Guantanamo & throw them in there. But, nooo, because it’s white men, in suits, like Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake, they’re kow towed to by all the local pols. It’s happening, right now, where I live – the Commonwealth of PA.

  4. Stovee says:

    Shale fracking = US children future compromised. Don’t let frackers mess with our most precious ressource : WATER. Obama will only be remembred for the shale mistake if this continues.

  5. lob says:

    No, it is NOT a “mystery disease”. It is conversion disorder. Just because folks don’t like the diagnosis doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    And, Bob, check your spelling. Misspelling “revealing” and “cited” right there at the beginning weakens any argument.

    • Bob says:

      Hey Lob,
      As stated in an earlier post, you very well may be correct about this being conversion disorder. Just recently, Bob Bowcock (Erin Brockovich associate) recently reported to the Batavian News that he tested 3 private wells near the school- preliminary reports showing that TCE (trichloroethylene) has been ruled out as a factor. But he did find Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MYBE) in one well near the school which although is not linked to neurological disorders, is a cancer causing carcinogen (see home page new feature report). BTW, MYBE is said to be used in fracking

  6. Elisa says:

    Another reason not to allow drilling on school land. Anxious to see how this turns out given the similarity of violations in Ohio and the massive push to allow oil and gas drilling, which can include fracking and injection wells on school and university land.

    After listening to the CNN coverage, it sounds to me like regardless of the method of drilling (which the anchor seems more concerned about), there’s waste injection going on, whether it’s for “salt water” disposal or enhanced recovery, I’m surprised there’s not more focus on testing what’s being injected before it goes into the ground, then being surprised that the school either isn’t or can’t produce MSDS sheets. If the industry isn’t providing them and is exempt from divulging the proprietary chemicals they use (if this is an injection well, the waste can be from vertical or frac wells) how could the school possibly produce the documents?

    Has the school demanded the public health department and state regulatory agency that issues the permits to test the “brine?” There’s a lot more in it than salt and water. The toxicity and radioactivity can vary depending on whether it was produced at shallow vertical wells, horizontal wells, and also if they’ve repeatedly “recycled” the waste water, which becomes more toxic with each reuse.

  7. The news here are the spills – of fracking flowbaxk and produced waste water – not “brine” which is what sardines are sold in. Those spills were unreported to the DEC because they didn’t have to be under NYS rules. NYS is full of leaking tanks and gas wells, these just happened to make the news.


    As to the cause of the “mystery disease” = no comment. ..

    • Billy says:

      Chip as a self proclaimed oil well owner and producer it rather puzzles me that your against fracking. As a successful oil investor (made tons of money) as oil well owner that has owned rigs all the way to the China Sea you surely made a large portion of your wealth from hydrofracking. So if you feeling guilty why don’t you donate your wealth to all those thousand of people you have poisoned with your greed?
      See http://www.accountability-central.com/nc/single-view-default/article/voices-from-the-shale-natural-gas-industry-uses-chemical-tracers-for-years-to-follow-fracturing-pr/
      James “Chip” Northrup’s background includes experience as an independent oil and gas producer in Texas and New Mexico, plus owning drilling rigs in the US, west Africa, Brazil and the South China Sea.
      Lets try a possible motive how about a possible conflict of interest:
      James “Chip” Northrop was former co-owner of Northrop Energy , which was sold to ARCO and subsequently became BP Solar. He was also a partner and investor in the acquisition and sale of offshore oil rigs, including the Teledyne fleet and WR Grace fleets. He holds a BA from SMU and an MBA from the Wharton School , University of Pennsylvania MISTAKE HERE SEE http://www.facebook.com/pages/Leonard-L-Northrup-Jr/105642789468941 Looks like a typo was not caught as this aligns itself up to close. Question was James “Chip” Northrup Leonards son and in the acquisition process accumulate large shares of stock in the solar energy field that the gas play can kill right now?
      “Dallas is full of guys like Lou who love to make deals, and he happens to be better than most,” says friend and real estate investor James “Chip” Northrup. “He’s been kind of back on his feet lately, and he hasn’t lost any of his zest.”
      As a champion to the environment what do you think most people in the Cooperstown NY area would think of you trying to invade that town with low cost multi family housing as you did in Texas at Sunnyvale see http://www.dmagazine.com/Home/1988/09/01/DONT_MESS_WITH_SUNNYVALE.aspx

  8. Billy says:

    Hey come on now why try to blame it on fracking? Has anyone thought about Cell Phones? As noted wells were in place decades before this was reported, If contagious as is suggested here the number would be far larger and more diversified. Note this is only happening now after the other girls became some what celebrities. Could it mass hysteria as what has been suggested by medical professionals> After all look at the fear mongering being presented here.
    I am glad you brought up violations it looks as though regulators are doing a fine job by looking at the numbers you present. However those numbers do not give a honest break down of what the violations were for nor the severity of the violation. A good example would be saying drunk driving kills and NY had 134,000 accidents reported of course we all know not all of the accidents involved alcohol, and now that not all of the accidents even resulted in body injury. Your spin upon the violations of O&G is really a cheap shot.
    As a landowner I believe in the over sight of the industry . I would however like to see a break down as to what the violations were and severity.
    Look at this for a example with the trucking industry.
    Violate a state or local ordinance or regulation: Level 1
    Violate hours of service : Level 7
    Operate a CMV with inoperative headlight/tail light: Level 6 = Question is a blown taillight during the day a life and death situation
    Violate that a load is not secured : Level 10 = Question a small piece of insulation blows out of a mobile home being transported the same as dropping a 40Ton roll of steel on a highway?
    Operate a CMV while ill or fatigued : Level 10
    Operate a CMV with a leaky tire : Level 8 = Question doesn’t a tire usually leak when your not looking at it?
    Operate while DUI : Level 10
    I think you get the picture.

    • Billy, If you were struggling with an unexplained nerve disorder, would you be content with an explanation of “mass hysteria”? I doubt it. As for cell phones – you know that’s ridiculous, don’t you? Why would a group of girls in one location suddenly show symptoms like this, when cell phones are used around the world?
      The wells on school property may have been there awhile – but the issue is when the leaks took place, and what was in them. They were recent- and so far there’s been no report of contents.
      NYSDEC lists up to 260 unique chemicals and another 40 compounds (with ingredients that are not disclosed by the industry) that are being used for hydrofracking in Marcellus shale. No one has any idea what those chemicals could do to the human body at any level of exposure – through skin contact, water, inhaling fumes, as sediment on food. We do know that in areas with shale gas, there are increases in headaches, respiratory trouble, nerve disorders, still births, skin damage, leukemia and other cancers. The list could go on.
      And as for violations – while there are too many gas company violations, the truth is that regulatory agencies can’t keep up with the volume of drilling, and are only catching a fraction of violations. In PA, the DEC just had its budget cut – again.
      Your example of DUIs is interesting – any dui puts life at risk, but a few lives at a time, and the damage is immediately recognizable . The heartbreak of shale gas violations is that one illegal dump into a stream can put whole communities at risk -for years – in ways hard to trace. Check the damage in Dimock, PA. How many lives, farms, water supplies have been ruined? How much damage still in process?

  9. DrEzdoesit says:

    I hope these girls were checked for lyme disease too. Our bodies all react differently to contaminants and bacteria – and today we have a lot of them.

  10. Its like you read my mind! You appear to grasp a lot about this, such as you wrote the book in it or something. I feel that you just can do with a few % to force the message home a bit, however instead of that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  11. FrackNation says:


    The preliminary test results may have revealed another environmental problem in LeRoy…groundwater contaminated by methyl tertiary butyl ether or MtBE. MtBE is a suspected carcinogenic by the USEPA and manufacture exclusively by the petroleum industry. …. MtBE is used in the cocktail of chemicals for hydro fracking natural gas wells in the LeRoy area.

  12. dph says:

    ONLY girls were involved. ONLY girls. Explain that.

    • Bob says:

      Actually, there is one boy from Le Roy (you don’t hear much about him) that has the tics/twitching, so that does make this case very interesting.


  1. [...] there is an environmental condition that impacts student health are doing an adequate job?  Many seem convinced that fracking played a part in the LeRoy Middle and High School epidemic of Tourette’s [...]

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