Eyewitness Account: Wayne County Seismic Testing

Dear Readers:   Not everyone  has  signed up  to be notified (comment RSS)  when new comments are posted  on these pages so I am re-publishing the below-comment in the main body of Breathing Is Political (below Breathing’s Recommendations).

Breathing’s Recommendations to Landowners  (Leased or not) and Renters

  • Read  “Update :  Seismic Testing” which I published yesterday.  It speaks to legal issues and  potential homeowner protections.
  • Visit the Chenango Farm Bureau site which I’ve linked to in the article.  Fill out the document.  Hand a copy to the seismic workers.  Send a copy to Dawson now and after the testing occurs.  Maintain a copy for your records.
  • Before the trucks arrive,  take pictures of every conceivable part of your property. When houses shake, the damage  may not be apparent until much later.
  • Arrange with a friend or neighbor to be on-call to be with you when the trucks arrive or IF  you get word they’re heading toward your road.
  • Create visible  8.5 X 11  posters and post your land (if you’re so inclined):  “SEISMIC  TESTING  PROHIBITED ON THIS PROPERTY!”  Make sure you sign the  notice  and that it includes your address;   just like any other  NO TRESPASSING SIGN,  it must be posted at multiple points on your property.  (See “Trespassing Rules”  at the NYS DEC,  just for guidance.)
  • If you have a head’s up the trucks are coming toward your road, email me or   a friend or neighbor to be with you.
  • Have a witness and preferably,   video-audio record of   what the seismic trucks and crew do and your interactions.  And if you  ask the trucks to leave because you see them or their workers  on your property  and you have NOT signed a lease which gives them implied or explicit access to your property,  nothing is lost by calling the police. Especially,  nothing is lost if they ignore your request to  vacate your property.
  • If you have pets,  farm animals and/or critters with whom you share the woods and river DOCUMENT their responses the day of the testing and over the next few weeks. Maintain all veterinary records that may result!
  • And continue to report your experiences here or by emailing me at : ljbucar@earthlink.net.
  • And do not hesitate to document your experiences  with the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation  and Environmental Protection and  THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE!



On Saturday the “thumper” trucks performed vibroseis directly in front of my home which is less than fifty feet from the road.  I was aware that this testing would be happening, but not when.  While the sight of 4 large military looking trucks coming down my little back road was unnerving, it didn’t compare with what was to follow.

I was taking photos of the trucks approaching and then to my dismay stopping directly in front of my home.  At this point I observed a man suddenly run from the road on to my property towards the back of my house.  This truly unnerved me. He had a small case and a probe of some sort which he inserted in to the earth.  Choosing to confront him, I got his attention and motioned for him to come nearer the house so I could speak to him.  The noise from the trucks made speech 15 feet apart impossible.  I asked him what he was doing on my property.  He informed me that he did not work for the people (Dawson) who were doing the vibroseis, but worked for a company out of Michigan.  Since I saw the company that placed all the orange flags, I knew that they were from Michigan from their license plates.  I accepted that he worked for them and not Dawson.  He explained that it was his job to test the vibration levels being produced to make sure they were not high enough to damage my home.  He further explained that while they try not to test directly in front of anyone’s house, sometimes it is necessary. I guess I was one of the lucky ones.  I asked him why he hadn’t asked permission to come on to my property, and he said that when he asked, people got upset.  Imagine that!  I suppose I could/should report him, but since his purpose seemed to be to my benefit I chose not to.  He then walked back towards the road while I walked through my house to the front.  What did I see there but my new acquaintance in my front yard measuring vibrations again, and then ultimately giving the trucks the okay to start the vibrations.  They were quite intense.  As I leaned against my front porch columh taking pictures of the situation I could feel my entire home shaking.  I don’t want to overdramatize this situation.  The pictures were not falling off the walls and furniture wasn’t toppling over, but it was a very deep strong vibration that could be felt deep in your chest in more ways than one. I don’t know what would have happened had I denied this man access to my property and the test that was supposed to make sure my home wasn’t damaged.  Would they have skipped my house without that data and moved on, or would they have just gone ahead and done the vibroseis. I do not take the violation of my private property lightly and would urge others to seek the legality of these actions, especially when undertaken without permission.  Should it be of interest to anyone I have photographs of the activity.

Thank you.

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