Public Lab Research note


Sensors for collecting environmental data at MTR and hydrofracking sites?

by LauraChipley | September 25, 2014 17:34 | 1,525 views | 4 comments | #11187 | 1,525 views | 4 comments | #11187 25 Sep 17:34

Read more: stable.publiclab.org/n/11187


I'm working to develop a new project called Appalachian Mountaintop Patrol (AMP).

The Appalachian Mountaintop Patrol (AMP) is a collaborative, environmental watchdog multimedia education initiative that will train people in Boone County, WV to document environmental contamination resulting from coal / natural gas extraction in the Appalachian Mountains. Using small waterproof video cameras and environmental testing kits, AMP participants will take water quality measurements and film runoff from hydraulic fracturing and mountaintop removal (MTR) wastewater ponds that seep into local waterways. ‘Deer cams’ (motion activated hidden cameras used to track game) will be installed to monitor suspected gas well chemical dumping sites. Participants will also use drones equipped with cameras and air quality sensors to shoot video, gather GPS coordinates and measure environmental data in remote hydrofracking and MTR sites. Additionally, AMP participants will record “video diaries” to illustrate the everyday experience of living in close proximity to environmental contamination. READ MORE

Next steps: This project will be a collaboration between people with diverse skill sets and backgrounds, including film/video, sociology, geography, mechanical engineering and environmental justice. I am looking to connect with potential collaborators working in environmental science, environmental toxicology and those who have experience flying drones.

Questions: What kind of environmental sensors would be useful (and user-friendly for citizen scientists) for collecting data at Mountaintop Removal or Hydrofracking sites? (measuring air, water, soil quality)?


4 Comments

I'd look at the NIOSH/OSHA work on fracking site safety. They're seeing elevated particulate levels and lots of exposure to H2S, volatile organics, and silica. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/oilgaswelldrilling/healthhazards.html

The silica particulates are the thing I've been following most. blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2012/05/23/silica-fracking/ http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2012/05/23/silica-fracking/

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Hi Laura, not sure if Hydrogen Sulfide is a problem near you, but if so you should look at our H2S monitoring project: http://publiclab.org/notes/Sara/09-25-2014/hydrogen-sulfide-monitoring-tool-well-received-at-niehs-conference

Also are you familiar with SWPA-EHP? They have a great program using Speck monitors to look at PM 2.0 and PM 2.5, as well as using low cost sensors for water contamination.

http://www.environmentalhealthproject.org/

Additionally, Deb Thomas with ShaleTest (a collaborator on the H2S project) has done extensive air, water and biomonitoring work in Wyoming: http://www.shaletest.org/

excited to hear about your work!

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Thanks so much for these resources, Sara!

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Using small waterproof video cameras and environmental testing kits, AMP participants will take water quality measurements and film runoff from hydraulic fracturing and mountaintop removal (MTR) wastewater ponds that seep into local waterways. Thanks http://qwikfix.co.uk/dvla-contact/

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