More Drinking Water Contamination Linked to the Oil and Gas Industry in Texas and Pennsylvania

Posted in: Water Contamination
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(Photo Credit: the energy collective)

Article courtesy of Amy Mall | Feb 11, 2016 | the energy collective | Shared as educational material

(This post originally appeared on NRDC’s Switchboard blog”)

Two recent drinking water investigations in Texas show dangerous levels of contamination. The study tested 550 water samples collected from public and private water wells in the north Texas Barnett Shale region over a three-year period and found that the closer a water well is to a fracked gas well, the higher the concentration of contaminants including arsenic, selenium, strontium, and barium. This investigation also found carcinogen.

In Pennsylvania, a 2015 report issued by Public Herald, a non-profit team of journalists, looked at transparency and procedural problems at the Pennsylvania Department of the Environment by reviewing hundreds of files where water had been contaminated.  Among other things, the report found:

  • DEP used post-drilling water tests to determine contamination in some cases, instead of baseline water tests.
  • DEP never issued determination letters on some cases.
  • DEP does not issue determination letters when a homeowner is working to resolve the issue directly with the oil and gas company, so there are no public records of contamination for those cases.
  • Files were destroyed after only five years.
  • DEP issued different conclusions to homes near each other with similar complaints.

Read the full report here :

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