Project SWIFT will create water quality database in Southern Tier

Project SWIFT will create water quality database in Southern Tier by Ryan Delaney, October 1, 2012, WRVO
Two Syracuse University geology professors – along with a graduate assistant or two – are hurrying to collect water samples from drinking wells in the Southern Tier before – and if – the natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing is approved in New York. Greg Hoke and Laura Lautz will use the samples to create a baseline database of drinking water quality in the region. The effort is being called Project SWIFT, for shale-water interaction forensic tools. They have been collecting samples all summer and the results will soon be available online. … Landowners in states where fracking is already allowed have alleged their drinking wells have become contaminated from nearby drilling operations. The gas industry denies the claims and says they’re unfounded – though the EPA and U.S. Geological Survey have released reports that link the two in a shale formation in Wyoming. Again, industry disputes the methodology of these studies. The hope of Project SWIFT, Hoke and Lautz say, is to create a baseline so landowners can compare pre- and post-drilling water samples and have access to the database if they believe contamination has occurred. … Right now the project is funded only by Syracuse University, but they have applied for federal funding. [Emphasis added]

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