Investigation 5

September 30, 2016

SMC B206

Mr. Caswell

Investigation 5

          Although fracking is the only industry that’s allowed to have their toxic chemicals be

injected into groundwater sources, the practice is said to have a connection with

contaminated water nonetheless. One group that agrees with such an idea are Stanford

scientists, whom published their findings in Environmental Science & Technology. Their

study, which was conducted at the fracking sites of Pavillion, Wyoming, found that water

was being contaminated due to a variety of reasons. Said reasons included the dumping of

diesel fuel, the placing of chemicals in pits that aren’t lined, and the absence of cement

barriers for groundwater.

           Another contamination incident was reported to have happened in North Dakota, a

state with 9,700 drilled wells made in the last 10 years, as a result of accidental spillage.

This is only one of many brine spills in North Dakota, of which there were 3,900 of.

Perhaps the largest spill was in 2014, when one million gallons of brine was leaked into a

bay which was less than a mile from a drinking water intake. Such cases of water

contamination exist elsewhere in the U.S., such as in Pennsylvania, where there were 279

water-related complaints linked to fracking in the state.

           The geologists of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources,

however, concluded from their study that water sources are not threatened by fracking, as

they had not found any injected fracking fluids to have moved close to water sources. K.J.

Rodgers from naturalgasnow.org dismisses the concept of fracking contaminating water

as a myth altogether, siding with EPA’s study whom claims there is no correlation and

deemed fracking bans to be nonsense. Another study by Yale University’s Desiree Plata

found, from the 64 Pennsylvania wells they had sampled from, low levels of

contamination in the water in a handful of wells. Despite the contamination, however, no

drinking water standards where violated by these samples.

           Voinovich School, a university in Ohio, conducted a test in which 10 samples were

taken from injection wells in Athens, Ohio. The samples were then tested for

contamination and there were no contaminants which originated from either oil or natural

gas. Based on this, the executive director of the Groundwater Protection Council the

underground drinking water resources in Ohio to be safe. In 2015, the Environmental

Protection Agency, Yale University, and Colorado State University also participated in

similar tests by testing groundwater for fracking contamination, and all of them found no

contaminants.

Bibliography

Charles, Dan. (2015, October 13). Study May Ease Drinking Water Worries About Fracking. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2015/10/13/448182616/study-may-ease-drinking-water-worries-about- fracking

Cred. (2016, January 6). Researchers Agree: Fracking Doesn’t Contaminate Groundwater. Retrieved from http://www.cred.org/researchers-agree-fracking-doesnt-contaminate-groundwater/

Harkness, J., Lauer, N., Vengosh, A. (2016, April 27). Contamination in North Dakota Linked to Fracking Spills. Retrieved from https://nicholas.duke.edu/about/news/ ContaminationinNDLinkedtoFrackingSpills

Jameel, M. (2016, July 1). Marcellus Fracking Linked to Well Water Contamination in Pennsylvania. Retrieved from http://inewsnetwork.org/2016/07/01/marcellus-fracking-linked-to-well-water-contamination-in-pennsylvania/

Jordan, R. (2016, March 29). Stanford researchers show fracking’s impact to drinking water sources. Retrieved from http://news.stanford.edu/2016/03/29/pavillion-fracking-water-032916/

Klick, Jacques. (2016, January 26). New German Study Finds Fracking Doesn’t Contaminate Water. Retrieved from https://energyindepth.org/national/new-german-study-finds-fracking-doesnt-contaminate-water/

Rodgers, K.J. (2016, September 3). Contaminated Water: The Myth That Will Not Die. Retrieved from http://naturalgasnow.org/contaminated-water-the-myth-that-will-not-die/

Image credit (https://sites.suffolk.edu/kelseyjenkins/2014/02/18/at-what-cost-hydraulic-fracturing/)

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