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Fracking risks highlighted once again in new study on groundwater

There’s yet another disturbing fracking story worth reading – this one from the good people at Pro Publica:

“A recently published studyby researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington found elevated levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in groundwater near natural gas fracking sites in Texas’ Barnett Shale.

While the findings are far from conclusive, the study provides further evidence tying fracking to arsenic contamination. An internal Environmental Protection Agency PowerPoint presentation recently obtained by the Los Angeles Times warned that wells near Dimock, Pa., showed elevated levels of arsenic in the groundwater. The EPA also found arsenic in groundwater near fracking sites in Pavillion, Wyo., in 2009 — a study the agency later abandoned.”

Click here to read the entire story. Let’s hope Gov. McCrory and his Commerce Secretary check it out as well.

One Comment

  1. Ken Glick (EEI)

    August 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Rob,

    Your article above fails to point out that the high levels of arsenic were not necessarily caused by hydraulic fracturing (i.e. fracking), but rather by one of several possible explanations. According to the actual report posted on the UTA’s website (http://www.uta.edu/news/releases/2013/07/Schug-water-well-contaminants-study.php), there are several explanations, including;

    “…industrial accidents such as faulty gas well casings; mechanical vibrations from natural gas drilling activity disturbing particles in neglected water well equipment; or the lowering of water tables through drought or the removal of water used for the hydraulic fracturing process. Any of these scenarios could release dangerous compounds into shallow groundwater.”

    What I take from this report is that states should impose strict regulations on hydraulic fracturing drilling, especially the testing of Nearby groundwater before and after a well is drilled as it protects both the landowners and the oil and gas companies.