NYT: Fracking has contaminated drinking water

Lower 48 shale plays

Industry executives as well as regulators have long said that fracking has never contaminated underground drinking water.

But the New York Times reports there is at least one documented case.

Excerpt one:

The report concluded that hydraulic fracturing fluids or gel used by the Kaiser Exploration and Mining Company contaminated a well roughly 600 feet away on the property of James Parsons in Jackson County, W.Va., referring to it as “Mr. Parson’s water well.”

“When fracturing the Kaiser gas well on Mr. James Parson’s property, fractures were created allowing migration of fracture fluid from the gas well to Mr. Parson’s water well,” according to the agency’s summary of the case. “This fracture fluid, along with natural gas was present in Mr. Parson’s water, rendering it unusable.”

Asked about the cause of the incident, Mr. Wohlschlegel emphasized that the important factor was that the driller and the regulator had not known about the nearby aquifer. But in comments submitted to the E.P.A. at the time about the report, the petroleum institute acknowledged that this was indeed a case of drinking water contamination from fracking.

“The damage here,” the institute wrote, referring to Mr. Parsons’ contaminated water well, “results from an accident or malfunction of the fracturing process.”

Excerpt two:

“I still don’t understand why industry should be allowed to hide problems when public safety is at stake,” said Carla Greathouse, the author of the E.P.A. report that documents a case of drinking water contamination from fracking. “If it’s so safe, let the public review all the cases.”

Read the full story here.

Other posts you might want to see:

NPR: Worries over water as fracking becomes pervasive

Wondering what the frack is going on?

Fracking linked to water contamination

Fracking not as safe as industry claims

‘I asked them for the data and they wouldn’t share it’

Very funny video: Stephen Colbert talks fracking

 

 

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Posted in *All posts, Public Health & Environmental Quality

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