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Groundwater contamination: December 2011 Archives


EPA has finally acknowledged that fracking can cause groundwater contamination.  In a draft report issued this month concerning an investigation into contamination of a drinking water aquifer in Wyoming, the EPA concluded ". . . .  the explanation best fitting the data for the deep monitoring wells is that constituents associated with hydraulic fracturing have been released into the wind River drinking water aquifer. . . ." (Click on EPA_ReportOnPavillion_Dec-8-2011 for the entire report)  EPA has proven, once again, that if it walks like a duck and quacks like one . . . .  it's a duck.             In recent years the oil and gas fat cats have been making millions and millions of dollars by injecting fluids containing dangerous chemicals into the ground to cheaply recover previously unrecoverable oil and gas.  And, rather than admit the obvious -- that this can create serious environmental problems through the uncontrolled release of harmful chemicals -- they have followed their time-tested approach.  They deny the obvious.  They obfuscate the facts.  They support bogus legislation to protect themselves (like the Texas law allowing them to keep fracking chemicals secret).  And, they brand as "job killers" people who demand sound scientific analysis before launching into potentially catastrophic action (the gas industry recently commissioned a study finding that they created over 600,000 jobs so they can pre-empt those who would question their unfettered operation).  Didn't we just go through this in the Gulf?             The EPA study proves that before we allow the industry to launch headlong into fracking operations everywhere they think they can make a buck, a thorough scientific analysis must be undertaken by people interested in protecting the humans and the environment likely to be affected.  It must be done on a project specific basis.  The recent events in the Gulf have taught us that industry cannot be trusted where there is big money on the line.  Is our government any different?  We can do better as a nation.  We can create jobs responsibly, and without sacrificing our future.

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