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EPA implicates fracking in groundwater pollution



Published: Thu, December 8, 2011 @ 2:15 p.m.

EPA implicates fracking in groundwater pollution

CHEYENNE, Wyo.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the first time has implicated fracking — a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells — for causing groundwater pollution.

The finding could have a chilling effect in states trying to determine how to regulate the controversial process.

The practice is called hydraulic fracturing and involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil or gas.

The EPA announced Thursday that it found compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals in the groundwater beneath a Wyoming community where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals.

Health officials advised them not to drink their water after the EPA found hydrocarbons in their wells.

The EPA announcement has major implications for a vast increase in gas drilling in the U.S. in recent years. Fracking has played a large role in opening up many reserves.

The industry has long contended that fracking is safe, but environmentalists and some residents who live near drilling sites say it has poisoned groundwater.


Comments

1Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

"The EPA announced Thursday that it found compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals"

The contamination of a shallow aquifer from a frack several thousand feet below is impossible . Well casings properly cemented contain the water used for fracking and contain the gas produced afterwards . A surface spill was the likely source .

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2sonnype(70 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

I think I would rather take the findings of the EPA over the opinion of someone not as knowledgeable with the process and its dangers

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3Silence_Dogood(1341 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Stan you might want to read the report before you stick your foot in your mouth again.

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress....

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4cambridge(3009 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

stan the man unusual.....it's pretty amazing how you can know more about the situation than the EPA and the Wyoming community, and all from you mothers basement. Thanks for being there.

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5walter_sobchak(1905 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

This would be a first for this type of link. It would not seem likely to happen if the proper techniques are used as the strata accessed is far below the groundwater for drinking. This would indicate a problem with the drill casing and/or liner for the well. Or, there could be an issue near the ground surface where leakage is occuring. But, most of the problems listed in the report can happen with any type of drilling, not just a fracking well.

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6VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

In ideal situations, layers of rock strata would be flat, but as we all know, much of our rock strata beneath our feet is folded, rising and falling, often with porous pockets in between, so who knows all the depths involved in the Wyoming incident or even here in Ohio. This is why I am against injection wells. Send back all those trucks from Pennsylvania and let them solve their own brine issues.

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7cambridge(3009 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

There is nothing wrong with drilling for oil and gas. The problem is the technique that is fracking. Fracking is the technique that uses chemicals that protect the pipe and the drilling rig from corrosion. If they would drill without the ant-corrosives and worry more about the environment than their equipment and their bottom line there wouldn't be a problem.

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8AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/201...

A controversial method of drilling for oil and natural gas appears to be the cause of groundwater pollution in a central Wyoming town, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.

The EPA last month said it had found compounds associated with chemicals used in the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the groundwater beneath Pavillion. Many residents say their well water has reeked of chemicals since the drilling began there and first complained to the EPA in 2008.

But until Thursday, the EPA said it could not speculate on where the contaminants came from.

In the draft report (.pdf) released Thursday, the EPA said that "the explanation best fitting the data ... is that constituents associated with hydraulic fracturing have been released into the Wind River drinking water aquifer."

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Now a primer for the feeble minded ones . . . ..

Most gas wells in our area are 1,500 PSI plus . . . .. To contain this gas you need a seal . Without a seal you lose the gas . So my feeble minded ones . . .. If the gas isn't screaming like a jet engine around the well it must be sealed . If the gas isn't escaping then one could reasonably assume that the frack didn't escape either .

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10Attis(879 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Those blinded by sheer greed will, of course, reject the factual connection between fracking and polluting. Besides the corporate mother (earth) frackers could care less about the damage to residential wells and aquifiers. Their corporate headquarters are either in France (V) or Germany (M) or hundreds of miles away from NE Ohio for the domestic frackers. They intend to turn our communities into little fracking colonies; deplete our resources; pollute our water; and laugh all the way to the bank. That is the truth, which may just set us free of these polluting parasites.

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

"Their corporate headquarters are either in France (V) or Germany (M)"

So Attis is this an attack on V&M Star also ? . . ..

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12Traveler(606 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Thousands of wells have been drilled with no problems. Yes there has been a problem with a few wells a couple hundred tops. That tell me its not fracking that is to blame but shoddy workmanship. The EPA would be better served looking at what makes these handful of wells fail.

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13Superstar7(122 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Two weeks ago in Columbus, I was made aware of a report that clearly indicated pollution in well water that could ONLY have been generated from the chemicals used during Fracking.
As of 10/2011 chemicals used in Fracking have now been demonstrated to exist in at least two wells IN OHIO.

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14db(280 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

The EPA is once again doing its best to destroy America. The area where this contamination supposedly occurred has been fracked at the water table and near water wells; unlike the 9-10,000 feet deep gas deposits in our area. All greenies should now stop attacking Stan.

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15James_S(268 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

DRILL, DRILL, DRILL for oil and gas.
It is safer than FRACKING.

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16Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

rjbook :

"Stan Par for the coarse. When will you understand that FRACKING and INJECTION wells are not good."

Residents in the area of the Kish Landfill will be willing to give you a heapin helpin of water to quench your thirst . It will be totally devoid of any frack water . Plenty of wells in the area have been fracked with no effect on any drinking water supplies .

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17Superman(31 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Eventually, the constant usage of fossil fuels will be the death knell for humans. Just a matter of time.

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18Laker(21 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

We need: (1) a widespread efficiency program to reduce heat losses in homes and buildings and (2) gas fired electricity generation needs to be replaced with combined heat and power generation .

Most energy is wasted. A distributed power system of microgeneration with combined heat and power will use waste heat from generation to heat buildings and industrial processes.

America can greatly reduce the energy usage in this country. We can protect habitats and aquifers from pollution.

For that matter, we can preserve the natural gas for future generations. It is folly to think that the gas resources are going to last forever. The drilling companies and their public relations people act like they think it will. What about the children and grandchildren?

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19Laker(21 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Did you learn your sentence structure from Sarah Palin, JessieDavid ? What you wrote in post 22 does not contain any complete sentences.

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20green(34 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Not to worry about Hagan, his stance on shutting down the wells and destroying the only real union jobs this valley has seen in 40 years will get him voted out of office. He needs to step back and express that there are regulations that need to be in place, like any other industry, as the wells and our area continue to grow, not shut down completely. Yeah, lets put all the union halls on unemployment.What a moron!! Try reading before you open your mouth. I'm all for going green, regulations & economic growth, but we need to work together.

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21cambridge(3009 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

There are countless videos on YouTube that show dead streams, dead animals, sick pets and livestock, contaminated drinking water and people with physical maladies all related to fracking.

On YouTube anyone can post a response video directly below any of the videos I mentioned. If I were these oil and gas companies and i were being slandered in this way I would absolutely post videos to refute the claims against me. I have never seen any such video. Why is that?

When the dick, cheney had the energy companies wright Americas energy policy they exempted themselves from Americas "Clean Water Act". Why is that?

Another thing to consider, take someone like our friend stan, say he raises livestock or farms for profit. They drill on his land and contaminate his well. You all have read stan's posts. Do you think stan would hesitate to pass whatever he is raising on that contaminated land to the rest of us? There is no shortage of stan's in this world and these chemicals will continue to proliferate in the environment we all live, the food we eat and our drinking water.

On the bright side the oil and and gas companies can continue those record profits quarter after quarter, so as our friend stan would say "it's all good".... right stan.?

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22Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

cambridge :

I am contemplating selling mineral water from the Kish Landfill . For a good friend such as yourself you can have several jugs pro bono . . . .. It will be certified frack water free .

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23Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Cambridge may be illiterate and uneducated but he is a blast . :)

http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/1/...

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24Rockabilly(93 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

@carlstaatz
You wrote "there is no such thing as pollution". Most ignorant comment ever. Congratulations.

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25Bigben(1996 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

"There is no such thing as 'pollution.' "- - Oh my.

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26HonestAbe(273 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Carlstaatz is soo far off the mark that it's ROTF funny. They think that municipal water supplies (read Meander watershed) are safe from the benzene and other pollutants in fracking waste water such as radium.
And they contradict themselves "Liberal environmentalists are the real parasites. They are takers. They produce nothing but BS propaganda that tries to limit our consumption." I''d like to know what the difference between a "Taker" and a "consumer" is ...probably only whether Carlstaatz ' friends are taking the natural resources and consuming the public's money. Youngstown is very familiar with the concept of big business taking our environment. The steel mills took our river and left a polluted mess for us to enjoy. Perhaps Carlstaaz should try consuming some of the deformed fish from the Mahoning slurry if there is no such thing as pollution. Perhaps this person is too young to remember the air pollution that we had here when the blast furnaces operated in full swing.
We should all read this: http://www.scientificamerican.com/art...
and :
http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/02...
and:
http://dontfrackmichigan.org/fracking...

and: http://www.lhup.edu/rmyers3/marcellus...

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27Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Sodium Chloride pollution and the sanctioned dumping of salt . . ..

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/0...

February 8, 2011 8:27 AM PrintText Cleveland Rocks, and Provides Tons of Road Salt

Eighteen million tons of sodium chloride - salt - is scattered on U.S. roadways in a bad winter. That's enough to fill 1 million truckloads.

The salt on the roads comes from well under them. CBS News took a five-minute elevator ride down 1,800 feet into a sprawling salt mine below the city of Cleveland.

The mine is completely dark. A labyrinth of salty corridors is revealed as we drive more than 20 minutes, two-and-a-half miles directly under Lake Erie.

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28HonestAbe(273 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes Stan, Regarding the salt a few things. I believe that when we had that earthquake a few decades ago that was around a five level, it had something to do with a salt mine under Erie. Another issue that disturbs me regarding road salt on our freeways is that they are using a liquid that is a combo of a sticky sweetener (like molasses) and sodium on the roads now. It IS good for reducing the road icing but the down side is that you can't get it off the windshields and it reduces visibility. This corrosive salt also gets onto every surface of the vehicle including the undercarriage and engine compartment. Also on very dry days, the salt on the roads forms a dust cloud that is raised by the vehicles in passing. I don't think that inhaling this dust is all that healthy.

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29Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

When the salt mines under Lake Erie collapse and flood out from Lake Erie's water it has been calculated that the salt in the water have will negligible effects . We then should have some good salt water fishing close to home for a while until it dillutes eventually .

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