Rose early, found this, watched it – was great. So it’s only today, but its free!
But can buy on Sale. Jan
[Herb Mentor News] John Gallagher from Learning Herbs – – starts his season’s greetings early with the gift of this truly wonderful “Body Butter.” I’m impressed, so wanted to share it with you.
Greetings everyone and welcome to our first holiday newsletter of 2012!
I’ve spent the past year gathering recipes and perfecting them so that I can share the best of the best with you.
As always we’ll be featuring some herbal gift ideas, some fun herbal culinary recipes and some herbal recipes for your health.
This newsletter starts with a decadent herbal gift that has become one of my favorite herbal creations. I know I am a little late to the party when it comes to appreciating herbal body butter. Honestly, I never understood why someone would want to rub a thick cream on their entire body. I thought the end result was to inevitably feel like a greased up french fry!
But I was wrong, soooo wrong! What I learned is that besides needing a high quality body butter, you also need to apply it at the right time (more on that later).
I fell in love with body butter after a friend gave me an incredible body butter from a great company. After I went through the jar I went to buy more but was immediately stopped by the high price. Yikes!
So, I did what I always do – went in search of recipes to create my own version at a better price. I searched and searched online but couldn’t find anything that was even close to the body butter I had fallen in love with. So I started experimenting. I had several batches turn out poorly before getting closer and closer to that perfect consistency.
Before we get to the recipe, let’s take a closer look at our ingredients:
Shea butter is processed from a nut that grows in Africa. Most of the shea butter you buy has been hand processed by African women – be sure to buy from a good source that pays these artisans a fair wage!
Shea butter is incredibly nourishing to the skin. It can be used to heal damaged skin as well as further support healthy skin.
Shea Butter is an intense moisturizer for dry skin, and is a wonderful product for revitalizing dull or dry skin on the body or scalp. It promotes skin renewal, increases the circulation, and accelerates wound healing.
—Mountain Rose Herbs
Mango butter is a semi-hard butter that is wonderfully rejuvenating. It is often recommended to revitalize damaged and rough skin. I often include it in pregnant belly balms to help the skin stretch without causing lasting marks.
Coconut oil, as with the butters, forms a protective thin layer on the skin to keep moisture in. This light oil is also wonderfully soothing to the skin.
You can use any liquid oil for this. My favorites are grape seed oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and apricot kernel oil. You don’t need to infuse herbs into the oil. However, if you would like to try an herbally infused oil you can see instructions on how to do that here. I love using calendula-infused oils for my body butters.
Olive oil can also be used but the end result will be a heavier body butter that may be a bit greasy.
Hydrosols are made from steam-distilled herbs. They have a mild but wonderful scent and they contain all the health benefits of the herb they were distilled from. Rose hydrosol, calendula hydrosol and lavender hydrosol are some of my favorite hydrosols to use in body butters.
Aloe vera is wonderfully nourishing to the skin. It can help soothe dry and inflamed skin as well as add elasticity to healthy skin. It is often used for acute skin problems such as sunburns and bug bites.
Aloe Vera growing in the Yucatan, Mexico
Borax powder is added to help emulsify the oils and the waters together and it also serves as a mild preservative.
Phew! I just feel like I’ve tried to say rejuvenating, soothing and healthy skin in twenty different ways! You can see from the ingredients that this blend combines all sorts of butters and oils that are wonderfully nourishing and supportive to the skin!
I’ve been making this body butter all year and giving it out to friends and family to see what they think of it. The feedback has been super positive with many friends repeatedly asking for more. Here’s what my friend Rebecca said:
Your body butter has THE most beautiful consistency. It’s like rubbing on a cloud.
The following recipe is the basic recipe. You can experiment with using different hydrosols, different essential oils and different herb-infused oils. This year I’ve made a calendula body butter with calendula-infused oil and calendula hydrosol; rose body butter with rose petal infused oil and rose hydrosol; and lavender body butter with lavender essential oils, lavender hydrosols and lavender-infused oil. You can mix and match any of these, use different herbs etc. So many possibilities! Experiment and then send some to me (only kidding!)
Here’s the recipe!
Note: Solid ingredients are measured by weight using a scale.
Liquid ingredients are measured by volume using a measuring cup.
The butters, oil and wax
The water portion
Need ingredients? Just go to Mountain Rose by clicking here…
Begin by slowly melting the butters and wax in a double boiler or in a pan on very low heat.
Once it has all melted, turn off the heat and slowly add the oil. When you add the oil you might notice parts of the liquid become solid again. Sometimes you can just give it a little stir and everything will melt again. If not, it may need a tiny bit more heat to be sure that it all melts together.
Once the butters, wax and oil are combined you’ll need to pour it into the container you are going to mix it in. If you are using a blender pour the mixture in the blender and set it aside until it is at room temperature. If you are using a cake mixer or immersion blender place it in the bowl you will use to whip it up.
While waiting for the butter mixture to cool, mix together the hydrosol, aloe vera, essential oils and the borax.
Once the butter mixture has cooled use a blender or handheld mixer to begin to mix it. Slowly add the hydrosol, aloe vera, essential oils and borax mixture.
See how the mixture has changed in appearance as it cooled?
When all the hydrosol mixture has been mixed in, it can be poured into jars and labeled.
Storage and shelf lifeI store my body butter at room temperature and have never had a batch go bad. If you think you are going to have a batch last longer than six months you may want to store it in the fridge for prolonged preservation.
How to use it!
Now here’s the trick about body butter. It’s best to rub in a light layer of the body butter just after a hot shower while the pores of your skin are still open. It may feel a little greasy just after application, but within minutes it will soak into your skin. The result is soft and glowing skin (not greasy!). Remember that body butter is thick and luscious. A little bit goes a long way!
When I apply body butter just after a shower my skin feels moisturized and softened for the entire day! Also my skin feels like, well, my skin! Not like I’ve just rubbed some greasy potion over it.
Your friends and family will love this luxurious present. The best part is that it was made by you!
I sure hope this inspires your gift making ideas for the Holidays!
Once, when I was ten years old, my father told me that the best gifts are the gifts we give ourselves. I didn’t believe him. “It cannot be so”, I thought. On my next birthday my father invited me to go to the mountains to pick wild strawberries and blueberries so that my mother could prepare a jam from them for the winter.
We left early in the morning even before the buses started running and walked all the way from our apartment to the forest and hiked all day long with a short break for lunch. We found lots of berries and gorged on them until our mouths became sore from eating them.
We returned home in the late afternoon carrying lots of berries. My father brought a large bucket and I carried a smaller container, approximately three liters (3 quarts) in size. I was tired and proud of all my accomplishments, helping family and being able to work all day. I remember how my father explained that we covered about sixteen kilometers (10 miles) that day. My father and I returned home just in time for a special
If you like the song you may purchase the audio for 99c Here
Skip These 4 “Superfoods” that Don’t Live Up to Their Healthy Image
Super foods can slim, trim, and nourish your body – giving you a longer, healthier life. But some “super foods” don’t deserve the name, and instead fall squarely on my list of items to AVOID. Replace them with these overlooked but true super foods…
Local hospitals are finding that mandates are the best way to boost flu-vaccination rates among their workers.
This fall, Mount Carmel Health System became the most-recent central Ohio hospital system to require employee flu vaccinations. By late January 2013, Ohio-Health said it will begin to hold accountable any employees who disregard a similar mandate that it first told them about during the 2011-12 flu season.
Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital began requiring employees to get the vaccine three years ago following the H1N1 flu scare.
“The concern was, no one knew how severe this would be,” said Dr. Dennis Cunningham, an infectious-disease specialist at Children’s.
Even well-meaning employees could spread the flu virus before realizing that they had symptoms, he said.
Mandates significantly increased vaccination rates at both hospitals.
Coverage at Children’s was 96 percent during the 2011-12 flu season, up from 61 percent four years earlier, before the mandate took effect.
Wexner Medical Center’s vaccination rate reached 85 percent during the 2011-12 flu season. That’s up from 34 percent during the 2008-09 flu season, but the earlier rate is likely an undercount because it doesn’t include employees who received flu vaccinations outside the workplace.
By comparison, OhioHealth and Mount Carmel reported 2011-12 vaccination rates of 60 percent and 53 percent, respectively.
Among U.S. hospitals that require flu shots, the vaccination rate was 95.2 percent during the 2011-12 season, compared with 68.2 percent at hospitals where they were not mandated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At least five Franklin County residents died of the H1N1 flu in 2009, underscoring the severity of certain flu strains. Nationwide, an estimated 12,470 people died during the H1N1 outbreak, according to the CDC.
“It really is a disease that can kill,” said Dr. Paul Kirk, medical director of employee health at Wexner Medical Center.
No local hospital requires that all employees get a flu shot. Exceptions are made for those with medical conditions that might trigger an adverse reaction to the vaccine or those who decline vaccines for philosophical or religious reasons.
“We’re trying to be sensitive to contraindications and concerns of conscience,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, OhioHealth’s chief medical officer.
At Wexner Medical Center, those who refuse vaccines on religious or philosophical grounds are asked to fill out waivers. Hospital officials try to change their minds by pointing out the science behind the vaccine and the risks of not being vaccinated to them, to patients and to their families.
“It’s very touchy, and you walk a thin line between being discriminatory and doing what’s right from a medical standpoint,” Kirk said.
Penalties for noncompliance vary among hospitals.
Children’s employees found to be noncompliant might receive cost-of-living pay increases but not merit-pay raises, Cunningham said. At Wexner Medical Center, employees who don’t receive the vaccine by Dec. 31 of each flu season will lose computer access.
That leaves most workers unable to do their jobs, with the exception of some maintenance and custodial workers, Kirk said. “It’s gotten people’s attention.”
Nobody has been terminated for noncompliance, he said.
OhioHealth employees who forgo the shots are subject to the hospital system’s progressive disciplinary system, though it’s not a firing offense if it is the first blemish on an employee’s record, Ohio-Health officials said.
After Dec. 31, Mount Carmel employees won’t be able to work until they’ve complied with the new vaccination policy, spokesman Jason Koma said.
Not all physicians who work in a hospital are employed by that hospital, creating a potential gap in vaccination coverage.
Wexner Medical Center said it ensures that such physicians receive the flu vaccine through their credentialing process, and OhioHealth expects any non-employed physicians with privileges to attest on paper that they’ve received the vaccination, just as employed physicians do.
Children’s encourages non-employed physicians to get the vaccine, which it offers free of charge. “We don’t track or mandate this, because it is such a small number,” a hospital spokeswoman said.
Nationwide, hospital workers have the highest rates of vaccination, according to an April survey by the CDC. Coverage was 76.9 percent among hospital employees. email@example.com
Needless to say, I am completely – – 100% against the use of Flu shots for anyone at all, but most especially, small children whose immune systems often are not able to handle these endless assaults on them and the same (almost), goes for our geriatric crowd because their immune systems have lived long through much abuse and have no doubt highly diminished. [Yours truly excepted, of course or anyone else who does deliberately strive to insure a strong immune system]. So I have a few things I’d like to say with regard to how we generally can keep ourselves much more likely to avoid falling victim to this Flu bug they tell us awaits our every turn or breath. Talk about mind-numbing brain-washing! First, here is a message from Dr Mercola from a year ago speaking on this same subject. Watch this and then conclude with me:
Oct 19, 2011 – Another influenza season is beginning, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will strongly urge Americans to get a flu …
So some of the things we can do for ourselves through the colder seasons when we have to have heat going, is to humidify (moisturize) the air. That is something I have done since I was first a mother and I noticed how dry the air could get in the house when the heat was on. The membranes in our nasal passages dry and even hurt and become very susceptible to infection when their structure changes like that. It makes a big difference, believe me. You can notice your plants smiling with that added moisture too.
For the times one can’t be with a humidifier nearby, one can carry a small squeeze bottle of “AYR” for the same purpose. Of course, you could make an efficient product by yourself – its only a saline solution, so stir in some sea salt into pure water and maybe add a few drops of aloe for that gentle healing effect. But one still needs the little squeeze bottle. I save the old AYR bottles as they are endlessly useful. I add about 1/2 teaspoon of Colloidal Silver to one in both bathroom and kitchen – for spraying into the nose if there is a tickle or you suspect a problem.
There is still one more little thing I have done for years (and even with my grand-daughters as I cared for them), and that is a matter of Strep throat. Strep throat will yield to pure strength garlic, using a garlic press -mashed to a pulp [retaining juice and all]. I used to tear off a small piece of sour-dough bread, but I guess anything would do – a piece of tortilla or etc., slather a little butter on [to offset the pain of the garlic] and then take small bites and chew it slowly till it runs down your throat of its own accord – keeping it there in throat area as long as possible. Then the next bite and the next. Take your time. Wipe away the tears with tissue as garlicky fingers can burn delicate eye area. It hurts, for sure. My little girls did it too and even managed a smile, see Nana, I did it. BUT, it takes the pain away from the Strep throat and the coughing pretty well slows to a stop also. If needed, can repeat in hours or next day, but the Strep is history. And they say one NEEDS antibiotic – no other way to handle this dangerous condition. Well, it works for me.
The other major thing we can all do is to take enough of the Vitamin D3. Dr Mercola speaks on this in the video also. I’m taking 10K daily and will continue to do so until I can get back outside and be in the sunshine comfortably. He says something about 2K to 5K daily, but I need 10K to get where I need to be. The only way to know where you really are is through a blood test. Apparently I was off-the-charts low all my life til I asked my doctor to check me and I was found to be @ 13, . . doctor gave me 50K on a weekly dosage – got up to 40. I wanted to get closer to 100. So I started buying a different product and took 10K daily and got up to 70 + Like to keep it right around there. All my life, I caught every germ air-born or otherwise if it could find its way anywhere near me. And it was bad. Sometimes, I simply wanted to give up. Since starting with D3, haven’t had a cold or Flu since and no pneumonia at all. Counting my blessings every day.
From what I’ve told you from a lifetime of “experience,” you can see why I am opposed to gestapo means of demanding that any person MUST ingest anything at all. We are reputed to be a FREE PEOPLE with rights. No one should be able to dictate to us what we eat or how we eat it. . .nor what medicines we take or don’t take. What is going on within the medical establishment – most especially from the giant, powerful BIG PhRMA, is simply reprehensible. That the government has struck a dicker with these schemers and allows laws to be passed which in any way forces citizenry to comply is nothing short of the days of torture and death done by the Nazis of yesteryear. This simply CAN NOT STAND!
If we want to keep valued principles alive as we proceed down our path toward “Government of the people, by the people and FOR the people, we’re gonna have to work a little harder for it than we have been doing, oh say, the last 40 years or so. . . Our recent experience should have shown us all something. The president asked us to make our wishes known by calling our reps in Congress and Senate and telling them what we want (with regard to that cliff and taxes, etc.) Well, this is the first sign I’ve seen in many a year where WE have the attention of people in government. I’m likin’ it. Lets try it on the freedom to say NO to medicine we don’t want and which we believe is not only not beneficial – – but openly, in your face harmful. We want an end to forced vaccinations of any kind. But this thing, where hospitals are going to can people who refuse to allow themselves to be poisoned and maybe slain, just to keep a job? I DON’T THINK SO. So why are they doing it? – – just because they can. During these economic times, how many financially hard-put people are willing to walk away from a paycheck? Its illegal and its coercion. Where’s a ballsy lawyer when you want one?
I actually have a BUCKET LIST of things I want to see before I leave this lovely plane, and by golly, I truly do want to see some of them, but I promise, I won’t get started on that right now. You’ve been patient and I appreciate it, I know how soap-boxish I can be. Luv you all . . . . . Jan)
Q: My daughter has been told she has Lyme disease. She has been put on antibiotics for four months. What can you tell us about the disease?
A: Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, spread by the bite of the deer tick. The tick is easily overlooked.
The tick needs to stay attached for 24 hours in order to pass Lyme disease, so an inspection after possible exposure is helpful.
Although Lyme disease has been reported in many places, it’s common in the northeast United States, from Virginia to Maine.
Its diagnosis is made primarily on a characteristic rash, which looks like a bull’s-eye, although the rash is not always present. In the early stages, people with Lyme disease might have flu-like symptoms. Lyme disease is best treated as soon as it is diagnosed.
Treatment in the early stages is with oral antibiotics. If Lyme disease is not recognized until later stages, which happens especially if no rash has developed, then nervous system complications can occur.
A: Diagnosis of later-stage Lyme disease can be confirmed with blood tests. Treatment of late Lyme disease is also usually done with oral medications and occasionally with IV medications, usually for four to six weeks.
Symptoms of late-stage Lyme disease might persist despite treatments that are effective in killing all the bacteria in the body, and several trials have shown that prolonging antibiotic treatment beyond the recommended four to six weeks doesn’t provide any benefit.
Q: Our 20-year-old daughter has become less active and gained weight, is tired during the day and doesn’t sleep at night. She was treated with an antidepressant, but her gynecologist, who saw her for irregular periods, has said she has poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. Her cousin also has it. Is it serious? Will our daughter be able to have children?
A: The syndrome is a condition of imbalanced female sex hormones.
The diagnosis is made with a combination of a careful history, physical exam and blood testing.
Women with the ailment often have a harder time getting pregnant; however, it’s still possible.
The syndrome is generally treated through a team approach, with an obstetrician and endocrinologist.
Depression is indeed more common in women with the syndrome, so an antidepressant sounds like good treatment for your daughter. Weight loss can be helpful, too.
Drs. Donohue and Roach answer letters only in their North America Syndicate column but provide an order form of available health newsletters. Write them at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.
With regard to Question #1) A querant is asking about her daughter’s diagnosis of Lyme’s disease. Her daughter has been receiving antibiotics for four months. According to the second response in this article, there doesn’t appear to be consensus (sadly) on treatment. While this is not a medical problem of epidemic proportions, still, many DO suffer with it.
Just happen to have a perfectly delightful response to this problem in a separate article posted right next to this one and directly behind it. It is from Innersource, the name of Donna Eden’s site wherein Eden Energy Medicine is discussed and people by the thousands go to learn about it. The post is today’s date and its called EEM Cures “Lyme” disease. Fortuitous arrival, isn’t it?
* * * *
Q #2) This query is particularly sad as it is, in my opinion, so unnecessary and extremely prevalent. This 20 year old is leading a tortured life and the medical community is hellbent to give her drugs (probably for the rest of her life) instead of seeking a solution and the cause as to why this is happening. Yes, it can run in families, but this doesn’t make it genetic.
Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), is reputed to be mostly unknown in cause. The path of the affliction as described by the good doctors is good as far as it goes. But there are those who ask Why? What causes this?
All we need do is observe our world without blinders on and we can see the toxins everywhere from our impure, tainted and chemical laden water (without which we do not live); the standard American diet (SAD) which is void of vital nutrient due largely to profit-oriented Agribusiness – who instead depletes our viable soil and fills it with more chemicals. All this in conjunction with the further insult of pharmaceuticals which do not assist the body in its magical job of running the mega-miracle know as a human body. But this is not just one more “nut” baying at the moon. This is only the preamble; what I am driving at is pretty much the same ole, same ole . . . it’s the FOOD “You Are What You Eat.
How can this young lady be helped? She needs a dietary cleanup. I’d wager my bottom dollar she is big on dairy We Americans ingest so many foods which injure us and do not make us healthy, yet we are told, these are healthy foods. DAIRY is the biggest no-no out there. It messes with all things hormonal. Both sexes suffer from the ACNE plague in our teens, but girls get more than their fair share. Their menses gets screwed from being irregular to painful and later into the infertility hell. PCOS is just another way of saying how screwed up the female hormonal system is. Often, those eggs don’t mature right and don’t discharge, but stay behind and become cysts.
Since our young lady has also gained weight (we don’t need to ask what that is doing to her psyche), it is a pretty sure bet that she is also eating her share of “grains” in any and all forms. This happens to be one of the other big no-no’s for anyone who truly want to be the best he/she can be while enjoying good health.
So if this young woman would give up these two major negatives, her health would start improvng overnight while simultaneously dropping pounds, releasing energy, which then would grant her the freedom to start the activities she really enjoys, and consequently, could be really tired enough to go to bed at night and get some darned good sleep.
There are so many choices to help people find out how to help themselves. At the beginning of Medicine or with Hippocrates, it was said that food is your best medicine. Let food be thy medicine. Doctors “taught” their patients about the right way to live, things to do and how to care for themselves. Those times just ain’t coming back! So we are all on our own. Help is everywhere; first comes the need and wish to take action.
Well, once again, thank you Dr Donohue [and friend] for getting me to dig down a little. You are too kind. Jan)
(As I have stated a number of times, EEM is one remarkable tool and I have shown several of what I felt were remarkable cases over the past few years by means of these “case history files.” This case is especially beautiful to me as this psychotherapist heard about this method at a conference and proceeded to learn about it in order to help herself. She learned from the books and CD’s and brought about her own cure of this disease.
This is from the current Innersource newsletter and provides encouragement to others who might be so afflicted. Jan)
Three years ago, a psychotherapist learned of Energy Medicine at a conference. At that time, she was suffering from Lyme disease and a constellation of symptoms, including high anxiety, intense sadness, and fear. Now three years after that introduction, she is an Eden Energy Medicine Certified Practitioner (EEM-CP), the Lyme disease has completely disappeared, and the stress, sadness and fear are gone. She now finds her life filled with promise and opportunity.
Sally Smith (for privacy reasons, this is a pseudonym) began working with Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) in 2007. At that time, she was suffering from a deeply embedded, long-term sadness over her inability to have a second child. She had become pregnant after using fertility drugs but miscarried at 11 weeks into the pregnancy. She was overcome by grief. Though she expected to move through the grief and on to emotional recovery, her body was so depleted by the loss that it was vulnerable. In this state, she contracted Lyme disease which resulted in a cycle of fear and worry that she now had a chronic condition from which she would never recover.
It was in that state that Sally first began working with Eden Energy Medicine. She had learned of Donna while attending a conference for psychotherapists, but she had not done any formal training. Still, determined to find some measure of healing, she invited a group of friends over to her house on Sunday evenings to watch Donna teach the five-day introduction to Energy Medicine on DVD. It was a leap of faith for Sally, since neither she nor any of her friends knew anything about Energy Medicine. In that spirit of faith and wonderment, they practiced on each other in Sally’s basement.
Over time, a series of changes occurred:
- Activating Radiant Circuits.
- All methods of sedating Triple Warmer and strengthening Spleen throughout the day.
- Holding Neurovascular Points to help alleviate stress.
- Supporting her liver by tracing the meridian.
- Keeping the gates on her hands open.
Sally has been feeling well for many months and has been symptom-free and off all medications for eight months. Just three weeks ago, she got confirmation that the Lyme disease had been healed. She has had three different tests for inflammation in the body and for evidence of common Lyme co-infections. Each of those tests had given very high readings when she was in the midst of the disease and are now all in the normal range. Her hyperthyroid condition, which seemed to be related to the Lyme disease, has disappeared. Her thyroid tests are in the normal range.
Sally feels that EM was a critical factor in her healing. She continued to work with a doctor throughout her healing process, but feels that without EM the traditional medical approach would never have yielded such a positive result. She notes that with the exception of just a few sessions she received from others, all of her EM work has been self applied. She attributes her success to her persistent application of the basics.
She has moved into a new home and opened a private practice as an “energy aware” psychotherapist offering her new healing insights in her professional role.
Sally also found that as her spleen energy came into its natural strength, she joyfully opened to the idea of alternative parental choices. Her family is now pursuing adoption. She sends figure-8’s every night to the baby that she knows will find her at just the right time.
In her own words Sally says:
“I am so grateful to Donna and David and Julie Lappin (her first teacher) and everyone at Innersource for living and teaching energy in a way that inspires and encourages us all to claim our birthright to incredible joy, peace, and health. I have befriended triple warmer and my heart is wide open . . . and I suspect this is just the beginning.”
(Compiled by Jeff Armstrong, October 2011)
CARROLLTON, Ohio — A deep, constant hum emanates from John and Elizabeth Neider’s dairy and sheep farm. Depending on whom you ask, it’s either the sound of progress or a harbinger of environmental disaster. The hum is created by a cluster of powerful pumps forcing millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals into six deep wells.
It’s a process that’s likely to be repeated in eastern Ohio thousands of times over the next few years, and Carroll County residents will have front-row seats.
The state has issued permits to drill as many as 161 wells in Carroll County. It’s the most-concentrated cluster of such wells on a growing list of permitted well sites that cover 21 counties. If every well is drilled in Carroll County, companies will use as much as 805 million gallons of water to free the oil and gas. Across Ohio, as many as 2,250 Utica wells could be drilled by the end of 2015, according to state estimates.
Critics say that drilling and “fracking” pose a pollution threat to streams and groundwater. Industry officials say the process is safe. As that debate continues, the industry’s water consumption has grown into an issue of its own.
The change alone in Car-roll County is huge. A Dispatch analysis of state water-use records shows that the county’s mineral-extraction industry, which includes drilling, used 3.5 million gallons of water in 2010.
That year, Carroll County residents, farms and businesses drew 378.7 million gallons of water from the ground, lakes and streams.
Where will these companies get the water they need?
“I told them we were dry this spring,” John Neider said about a conversation he had with the drilling company when it considered using his creek for fracking water. “Our creek is pretty much dry.” Drilling-industry and state officials insist there’s plenty of water for everybody.
“There’s 30 trillion gallons of precipitation that falls on Ohio each year,” said Heidi Hetzel-Evans, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Most heavy industries that need water, including power companies, locate their plants and mills next to large lakes and rivers. That’s not an option for the drilling industry.
Companies must get their water from wells or other water sources and either pump it to drilling sites in pipelines or drive it there in tanker trucks.
An analysis of state groundwater maps shows that the aquifers in 12 counties in the Utica shale region produce a maximum of 5 gallons of water per minute. That’s enough to supply a single house.
With the possibility of drilling more than 2,000 wells in the next three years, drilling companies are increasingly signing contracts with counties, cities, townships and regional agencies to draw water from public reservoirs and lakes.
A flood of requests
At least a dozen oil and gas companies have filed requests with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District to buy water from six reservoirs in eastern Ohio.
Officials delayed plans to begin selling water for fracking after residents objected earlier this year. They are now awaiting a U.S. Geological Survey study of the Atwood, Leesville and Clendening reservoirs to determine how much water can be sold off without harming the environment or recreation.
“We expect something by the end of the year,” said Sean Logan, the district’s conservation chief.
In September, however, the district board approved selling water for fracking from its Piedmont and Clendening reservoirs during their fall “drawdown stage.”
The drawdown releases more than 6 billion gallons of water from both lakes to increase storage capacity for thawed snow and ice during winter months. Officials said the amount of water oil and gas companies need for drilling is a small fraction of the drawdown.
The district’s plans face strong vocal opposition from the Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water, an advocacy group.
“We can see that from some of the conversations that (district officials have) had that they are just looking for reasons to justify what it is they want to do,” said Leatra Harper the group’s leader. “We have hydrologists who say they don’t understand the concept of excess water.”
Cows, crops and wells
While government groups are debating water sales, oil and gas companies are signing agreements with private landowners to buy access to their wells and ponds.
Since January 2011, shale-drilling companies and fracking contractors have registered at least 62 water withdrawals in 16 counties.
State law requires companies to register with the state if they intend to take more than 100,000 gallons a day from a pond or stream in the Ohio River basin. Companies that take at least 2 million gallons a day must get a state permit.
In Carroll County, the fracking operation at the Neiders’ farm is fed by a pipeline that snakes north for miles across several properties to a reservoir on another farm. A well there helps supply the reservoir.
The drilling company, Chesapeake Energy, says a lake on yet another farm also provides water for its fracking operation there.
“They paid us so much a foot for laying it on top of the ground,” John Neider said of the pipeline. “It’s supposed to be temporary.”
Paul Feezel, the leader of a group called Carroll Concerned Citizens, said he fears that these companies could drain water that farmers use for drinking and livestock. He mentioned the Chesapeake water well as a potential threat.
“The issue people have in this area is the amount of water that is in that aquifer,” said Paul Feezel, one of the group’s founders. “If you start taking that out, at what point would it start impacting the other landowners in the area?”
Chesapeake Energy responded with a written statement that said the well provided, at most, one-tenth of the water used at the Neiders’ farm.
The company says it also works with government agencies to “ensure that water use for deep-shale gas development is consistent with water-use plans and does not adversely affect other users.”
What about droughts?
Feezel said he’s also concerned about the fracking industry’s impact on streams, especially during typically dry summer months and droughts.
He said that state regulations don’t offer strong protections.
Ohio “doesn’t stop people from taking more. It just asks them to report on where they are taking the water,” he said. “If someone upstream says, ‘Sure, you can have all this water,’ and they pump a creek dry, it will be interesting to see what happens downstream.”
Mike Hallfrisch, the water inventory and planning supervisor with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said the law entitles landowners to a “reasonable” use of water that runs across their land. It doesn’t allow any one landowner to take all of the water.
“If (companies) damage someone downstream, they can be sued,” Hallfrisch said.
Kristin Meyer, the clean-water program director for the Ohio Environmental Council, said the state should create limits up front.
Hallfrisch said his office monitors stream-flow gauges and ground-water levels and advises drilling companies to avoid drawing water during dry or drought conditions.
However, the state can’t stop a company from drawing the water. But companies could risk fines for harming wildlife in a dewatered stream.
Despite residents’ concerns, Hallfrisch said that even during the dry spring and summer, there was no incident in which a drilling company drained a stream.
“There’s enough water to go around,” he said. firstname.lastname@example.org
It takes a lot of water to make power.
Ohio’s coal-fired power plants, which produce nearly 90 percent of the state’s electricity, used 2.7 trillion gallons in 2010, mostly to help cool steam used to turn turbines and generate electricity. How much water is that? Nearly 78 percent of the 3.4 trillion gallons that Ohio households, farms, businesses and industry used that year.
That thirst, however, is on the wane. In 2000, for example, power plants used 3.2 trillion gallons. Industry officials attribute that to the recession, which has reduced demand for electricity. Less electricity means less coal and less water is needed. “It’s a direct correlation to how much power you produce,” said Mark Durbin, spokesman for Akron-based FirstEnergy.
Power companies will take even less water in years to come as more old coal-fired generators close in the face of tougher federal clean-air regulations. The biggest changes will come in 2015, when new limits on mercury and other toxic air pollutants take effect.
American Electric Power plans to retire its Picway plant, a generator at its Conesville Plant and four of its Muskingum River plant generators by June 2015. And FirstEnergy says it will retire generators at four power plants along Lake Erie while Duke Energy will shut down its Beckjord station near New Richmond.
Together, these plants used 978.8 billion gallons of water in 2010.
Industry officials are quick to point out that most of the water that power plants draw in is returned to streams and lakes, but usually much warmer. Melissa McHenry said that AEP has had to cut back generation at plants along the Muskingum River when stream levels were low in order to avoid overheating the stream and harming wildlife. “It’s typically not a problem ever on the Ohio River,” McHenry said. email@example.com @CDEnvironment
The next generation of water pollution didn’t start at a factory, power plant or landfill. It started in your house. These pollutants are the unused drugs we flush down the toilet as well as the bits of medications that we pass from our bodies.
They include birth-control pills, antidepressants, blood-pressure medications and antibiotics. Household cleaning products and detergents, insect repellent, caffeine from the stale coffee we don’t drink and even steroids also are detected.
Many of these pollutants, which hospitals, pharmacies and factory farms dump into waste water, are measured in parts per trillion. That’s a lot smaller than the standard concentrations of more common pollutants that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limits in drinking water. They are so small that there are no government limits, and many speculate that they don’t pose a health risk.
But research shows that estrogen and other birth-control drugs might cause male fish to develop ovaries. Other researchers say that there isn’t enough work being done to examine how a combination of such pollutants might affect wildlife and human health.
“You see very different effects with mixtures of contaminants as opposed to single compounds,” said Paige Novak, a University of Minnesota environmental engineer studying estrogenic effects on wildlife. “I think some of these things are really subtle, and that makes them more difficult.”
“No one had ever really done (this study) on a large river,” said John Spaeth, an aquatic biologist with the commission. “We wanted to have a base line of what type of contaminants we have here in the Ohio River.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is completing a survey looking for about 200 drugs and other chemicals in tap water at about 50 sites across the United States. “That data is still being compiled,” the agency wrote in an emailed statement.
Lynn Kelly, the city’s water supply and treatment coordinator, said he’s optimistic that a new ozone bubble treatment system that’s being installed to help meet new federal drinking water standards could also remove the antibiotics.
“Ozone can break a lot of these chemical chains down,” Kelly said.
Novak said she’s hopeful that more research will help identify which, if any, of these compounds pose risks.
“There are just so many open questions,” she said. firstname.lastname@example.org
“There are just so many open questions,” she said. email@example.com @CDEnvironment
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — For nearly two decades, Dicks Creek has been the worst of Ohio’s worst, a creek so polluted that officials put up warning signs to keep everyone away. The creek bed is laden with PCBs, which are banned chemicals. The polychlorinated biphenyls were discovered in the creek bed at levels 3,000 times Ohio’s clean-water standard and eventually traced back to a nearby steel-mill complex.
Perched atop the Yankee Road bridge, Bonnie Buthker, the Ohio EPA’s southwest district chief, recently pointed out the dam, pumps and pipeline that shuttle the stream water around the excavation work-site. “You see that different color soil?” Buthker asks. “That’s where they just removed all of the contamination.”
Kyle Robertson / DISPATCH
Polluted streams — dozens statewide — pose critical problems for fish, wildlife and humans. Harmful compounds, including mercury, can work their way up the food chain, passing from microbes to fish and then to people. Other contaminants threaten drinking-water supplies and cost taxpayers millions to purify.
Buoyed by millions of dollars in federal cleanup funds, state officials recently lifted warnings for Toledo’s Ottawa River, where people had been instructed to not touch the water.
The same goes for work to repair 1,300 miles of streams in southern and eastern Ohio rendered nearly lifeless by a mix of sulfuric acid and metals that continues to seep from century-old abandoned coal mines.
Recent steps to scrub air pollutants — especially mercury — from coal-fired power plants, raise hopes that Ohio streams can recover.
PCBs don’t break down in water, making them among the most insidious toxins found in streams and creeks across the United States.
Yet there is some hope. Power plants must cut their emissions by 90 percent by 2015, according to U.S. EPA rules enacted last year. The government hopes that mercury levels in streams and rivers will dissipate, but no one knows how long that will take.
Dicks Creek symbolizes long-standing “legacy” pollution issues created by Ohio’s heavy industry.
Though high levels of PCBs were found in the creek’s sediment in 1995, it took EPA officials two years to trace the contamination to the AK Steel complex on Middletown’s east side.
Barry Racey, a company spokesman, wrote in an email that the first phase of the three-phase cleanup, finished in 2010, cost $17 million. The total cost for the project is unclear. The $17 million first phase already has eclipsed a $12 million total cleanup estimate the company and federal officials listed in their 2006 settlement.
“In some ways, it’s just astonishing that something like this would take so long,” said Marilyn Wall, a board member of the Ohio Sierra Club, which took part in the government cleanup lawsuit. “I’ll be happiest,” she said, “when I see the restoration and when the people can actually come back and enjoy this stream.”
In February, Ohio EPA officials lifted no contact and do not eat warnings for a 5-mile stretch of the Ottawa River after tests of fish there showed significant drops in chemicals, including PCBs and PAHs, or polyhydroxyalkanoates, which are bio-plastics.
The change followed a $47 million project to dredge the stream. The Great Lakes Legacy Act paid for half of the cost and a partnership of 10 companies and the City of Toledo paid for the rest.
The dredging removed more than 240,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment, including nearly 3 tons of PCBs and 40 tons of PAHs.
The partnership continues to work on the Ottawa, transforming it from little more than a ditch where it flows through the University of Toledo into a meandering stream with a flood plain.
Restoration efforts include slowing the flow of storm-water that runs off of nearby parking lots and roofs and catching road salt and vehicle pollutants before they reach tributary streams that flow into the Ottawa.
“It’s going to create an opportunity for people and the campus to get connected to the river,” said Matt Horvat, a watershed coordinator for the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments.
At the R&M Recycling scrap yard, the city is testing a pile of gravel and mulch placed in a low-lying drainage area at the edge of the scrap yard. The idea is to trap pollutants in storm water before it runs into Sibley Creek, a key Ottawa River tributary.
“After all this work was done, we don’t want to have to come back and (clean it) again,” said Kurt Erichsen, the council’s vice president of environmental planning.
State mining officials have significantly increased funding to clean streams poisoned by old abandoned coal mines. Hundreds of mines legally abandoned by companies — some more than a century ago — leak sulfuric acid, iron and aluminum into streams. The mixture stains stream bottoms orange and white and leaves the waterways nearly lifeless.
With the help of federal coal taxes allocated for cleanups, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has steadily increased funding for acid mine drainage cleanups, from $858,595 in 2009 to a projected $3.1 million this year. “For 2013, we have almost $4.4 million in work planned,” said Ben McCament, the ODNR acid mine drainage program manager.
The scope of this cleanup is immense. Officials are still surveying streams in Ohio’s coal country to identify all of the problem areas.
McCament is a former coordinator of the Raccoon Creek Partnership, a group committed to cleaning the southern Ohio stream of the same name. He said he’s impressed with the increased number of cleanups. “It’s way more than what we had in the past,” McCament said. “We’ve more than doubled what we’re constructing and reclaiming each year.”
Federal money isn’t needed for some of the projects.
McCament said the Ohio Department of Transportation paid for four acid mine drainage cleanup projects as part of an agreement with federal officials to replace environmental losses caused by its Rt. 33 construction in the Wayne National Forest.
The projects placed materials including limestone to remove acid and dissolved metals from the water. “The last project is just being completed,” McCament said. No money, no cleanup
There is a stretch of the Little Scioto River southwest of Marion that has been toxic since the 1890s. The Baker Wood Preserving Co. used coal-tar creosote as a preservative for railroad ties, which were set out in a yard to dry in the sun.
Rain water likely washed the poison from the yard into a nearby sewer line, officials say. The company continued the practice until it closed in the 1960s.
The U.S. EPA completed partial cleanups in 2002 and 2006 that dredged more than 68,000 tons of creosote from a 1.25-mile stretch of the stream. More than 3 miles of contamination remain, with no source of funds to clean the stream.
The Little Scioto was named a Superfund site in September 2009. The federal program, which provides money for environmental cleanups, lists more than 1,200 toxic sites in need of funding.
At the time, Steve Snyder, the U.S. EPA’s Little Scioto site coordinator, said that a cleanup could begin by 2012.
John Devine, a senior attorney for the advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council, said the Little Scioto’s problems are typical and some cleanups languish for years.
“With legacy problems,” Devine said, “cleanup plans are really only as effective as the ability to insist that someone take the pollution out of the water.” firstname.lastname@example.org @CDEnvironment