Anyone who lives in a gas drilling area can tell you: fracking contaminates groundwater. Citizens have been shouting this at the top of their lungs in fracking areas since shortly after the process of hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005, paving the way for the largest gas drilling boom in domestic history. The exemption, known as the "Halliburton Loophole", allows fracking companies to inject toxic chemicals under the ground in huge quantities and not report it to the EPA. But with this much fracking going on, with thousands of wells being drilled and fracked in 34 states, and with thousands of reported cases of contamination, the gas industry just can't keep their secrets buried; they keep bubbling up throughNo, not a genius . . .
the ground. . . .
So, when the EPA now says, "When considered together with other lines of evidence, the data indicates likely impact to groundwater that can be explained by hydraulic fracturing," that is something quite new. What is also clear is that the aquifer in Pavillion will never be cleaned. The contamination there, for the foreseeable future, is permanent. And considering that the permanent contamination of huge areas of groundwater in the US is now a scientifically proven risk, the Pavillion investigation, as extensive as it was, must become the new standard for investigating fracking complaints worldwide.
Having investigated fracking myself for three years, I have heard the same story hundreds of times, from residents in gas-drilling areas from Wyoming to Arkansas, from Pennsylvania to Texas. It goes like this: the frackers move in – and all of a sudden your water turns color, or can be lit on fire, or smells like turpentine or leaves burn marks on you after you take a shower. It doesn't take a genius to connect the dots. . . .
Friday, December 09, 2011
Josh Fox, maker of the eco-freako doco Gasland, in the Guardian today on the EPA's finding that fracking polluted groundwater in Wyoming: