Thursday, December 8, 2011

EPA report links fracking to groundwater contamination

** Updated at 10:16 p.m. on 12/11/11 to add Newsy video report**

For the first time, the federal government is linking the controversial natural gas extraction process known as fracking to contaminated drinking water.

In a draft report that has not yet undergone scientific peer review, an EPA study found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath a Wyoming community where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals. 

The report is likely to heighten the already heated debate in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and elsewhere over the adequacy of state and regional regulations governing the location and operation of fracking wells.

The gas industry has long held that there is no possible link between fracking and drinking water supplies since fracking takes place at much lower depths.

The EPA report provoked immediate criticism from Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).

“This announcement is part of President Obama’s war on fossil fuels and his determination to shut down natural gas production,” Inhofe said. “It is irresponsible for EPA to release such an explosive announcement without objective peer review.”

Fracking has become a politically and emotionally charged environmental issue in several of the states overlying the Marcellus Shale--a natural gas formation extending from New York, through Pennsylvania, and into portions of Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia.

A December 3 post on this blog [Shale gas fracking gets a new black eye: Illegal dumping] has draw more than a dozen responses from readers--some who condemn fracking, some who condemn those who condemn it, and some taking a less polarized approach.

Feel free to add your views at the bottom of that post or in the comment box below.


Investigation of Ground Water Contamination near Pavillion, Wyoming
EPA implicates fracking in causing pollution

Fracking likely linked to groundwater pollution in U.S.

Inhofe demands rigorous peer review for EPA fracking report

Anti-fracking bill clears NJ environmental committee

Anti-fracking bill before NJ Assembly committee today

Fracking foes celebrate a win but cannot declare victory

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