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80’s Study Connected Fracking To Well Water Contamination

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The EPA concluded in a 1987 study that fracking in West Virginia contaminated an underground drinking water source in Jackson County, in which the Kaiser Exploration and Mining Co., drilled a 4,500 feet deep well on James Parsons’ property. Nearly a year and a half later, pollution was found in Parsons’ drinking well which was 400 feet deep and less than 200 yards from the drill site. EPA investigators decided that residual frack fluid had migrated into the drinking water well.

The Charleston Gazette reported the EPA study as saying “Dark and light gelatinous material (fracturing fluid) was found, along with white fibers…Analysis showed the water to contain high levels of fluorine, sodium, iron and manganese.”

Parsons’ was told to find an alternate source of drinking water. He sued the company and reached a confidential settlement. The EPA reported suggested other contamination cases, but said the cases were nearly impossible to document because confidential settlement “curtails access to scientific and administrative documentation of the incident.”

Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing for the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005, after an EPA study found little risk to water supplies. The Environmental Working Group reported in a release that neither Congress nor the EPA mentioned the 1987 study findings.

Dusty Horwitt, EWG’s senior oil and gas analyst and author of “Cracks in the Façade,” the EWG’s report about EPA’s finding said, “Now it’s up to EPA to pick up where it left off 25 years ago and determine the true risks of fracking so that our drinking water can be protected.” disclaimer: This article: 80’s Study Connected Fracking To Well Water Contamination was posted on Thursday, August 4th, 2011 at 7:30 pm at and is filed under Toxic Substances Lawsuits.

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