The New York Times: Drilling Down, Deep Frac’ing by Kaiser Gas Co Contaminated West Virginia Water Well Rendering it Unusable and There May Be More Gagged by Nondisclosure Agreements

DRILLING DOWN, One Tainted Water Well, and Concern There May Be More by Ian Urbina The New York Times, August 3, 2011.

“I still don’t understand why industry should be allowed to hide problems when public safety is at stake,” said Carla Greathouse, the author of the E.P.A. report that documents a case of drinking water contamination from fracking. …

“When fracturing the Kaiser gas well on Mr. James Parson’s property, fractures were created allowing migration of fracture fluid from the gas well to Mr. Parson’s water well,” according to the agency’s summary of the case.

“This fracture fluid, along with natural gas was present in Mr. Parson’s water, rendering it unusable.”

In their report, E.P.A. officials also wrote that Mr. Parsons’ case was highlighted as an “illustrative” example of the hazards created by this type of drilling, and that legal settlements and nondisclosure agreements prevented access to scientific documentation of other incidents. …

Dan Derkics, a 17-year veteran of the environmental agency who oversaw research for the report, said that hundreds of other cases of drinking water contamination were found, many of which looked from preliminary investigations to have been caused by hydraulic fracturing like the one from West Virginia. …

“I can assure you that the Jackson County case was not unique,” said Mr. Derkics, who retired from the agency in 1994.

“That is why the drinking water concerns are real.”

Refer also to:

Report to Congress: Management of Wastes From the Exploration, Development, and Production of Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Geothermal Energy – Volume 3 of 3, Appendices ( A-Summary of State Oil and Gas Regulations, B-Glossary of Terms for Volume 1, C-Damage Case Summaries) by US EPA, 1987


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