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Drilling mud blow-out on Snow Hollow Rd, Susquehanna County, into Laurel Lake Creek; Exceptional waters

August 4, 2011

Protecting Our Waters received four reports from Susquehanna County residents in the past three days about this blowout, which began August 1st.  While in the field recently we heard disturbing reports about many past drilling mud blowouts, but this one is happening right now.  “Drilling mud” contains toxic materials.  It is far from benign despite the natural, earthy sound of the word “mud.”  

This new blowout is contaminating waters rated “exceptional value” by the state.  While all water is invaluable, these waters are supposed to be especially protected by law.  We will update this rough report with more detail as more becomes known. 

Laurel Lake creek flows across Silver Creek Rd. to Silver Creek which flows into Salt Springs State Park.  Susquehanna County residents ask in repeated emails, “Will anyone speak out about this?”


Latest accident by pipeline workers Susquehanna County. This is Laser Marcellus Pipeline . Silver Lake Township, Snow Hollow Road. Mud gushed out of drilling…

Laser Pipeline mud and bentonite blow out into exceptional-valued Laurel Lake Creek, Silver Lake Township, Susquehanna County, Pa.. Videotaped 8-1-11. Rockford.

14 minutes ago · Share
Incident summary:  On August 1st there was a pipeline (drilling mud) blow out in Laurel Lake Creek, Silver Lake Township, PA. This is in an exceptional value water shed, the highest rating for pristine water, a trout sanctuary and wetlands. Now drilling mud filled with bentonite and barium is headed down stream toward Salt Springs State Park.
The type of bentonite used, a product called BARA KADE, has been researched by Rebecca Roter, a Susquehanna County resident who examined its MSDS.  Here is a brief excerpt of some of the health risks related to BARA KADE bentonite, the product now flowing down this “exceptional value” creek (along with other contaminants):
Chronic Effects/Carcinogenicity Silicosis: Excessive inhalation of respirable crystalline silica dust may cause a
progressive, disabling, and sometimes-fatal lung disease called silicosis. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, non-specific chest illness, and reduced pulmonary function….  There is some evidence that [it]… is associated with an increased incidence of significant disease endpoints such as scleroderma (an immune system disorder manifested by scarring of the lungs, skin, and other internal organs) and kidney disease.
Aside from its toxicity to humans when inhaled, the toxicity of this type of bentonite to fish is known, while bioccumulation toxicity is “not known,” according to the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).
We must not wait until both the acute and cumulative impacts of every one of hundreds of drilling and fracking chemicals are studied, alone and in combination, before we act to stop the damage to our air and water, bodies and blood.  We must act preventively, and we must act now.

After midnight on August 3rd, we received word the spill is still occurring.  Here is a follow-up video.

  1. August 4, 2011 8:03 am

    Most reports I’ve read simply say “The drilling mud consists of water & bentonite” (bentonite is a type of clay)”

    It doesn’t say that bentonite can cause muscle pain, rheumatism, weakness & anemia. It also doesn’t tell you that the oil & gas biz warns workers not to inhale bentonite powder, because it contains silica dust, which causes respiratory problems.

    But hey, bentonite’s in kitty litter, so how bad can it be in your drinking water?

  2. olisa laura permalink
    July 24, 2013 5:56 pm

    It is a very sorry site here in nigeria(niger delta) where we are forced to drink and use bentonite polluted water. Help is all we need .nigeria agip oil company are killing millions of nigerians especially we that are very close to the source of water(agwetiti) NELGA.

  3. rebecca roter permalink
    July 25, 2013 1:49 pm

    are you on facebook? we need to connect you to social media so we can stand witness together across the international community. we need to stand collectively together. i live in a marcellus shale gasfield in Pennsylvania where the aboved drilling mud blowout occurred. please email me


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