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EPA Links Fracking to Groundwater Contamination

Lays industry myth to rest once and for all
December 8, 2011
Pavillion, WY —

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released draft study results (PDF) today linking the controversial form of gas development known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to contaminated groundwater.

At the urging of Pavillion, WY residents, the agency began investigating water quality concerns in private drinking water wells three years ago. The draft report released today indicates that ground water in the aquifer contains compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including fracking.

Fracking is when oil and gas companies blast millions of gallons of water treated with chemicals into the ground to force oil and gas from hard-to-reach places deep inside the earth. Along with a fracking-fueled gas rush have come troubling reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, and sick families.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice Policy Associate Jessica Ennis:

“With this finding by the Environmental Protection Agency, we can confirm what residents of the gasfields have been saying all along: the chemicals used in fracking can indeed migrate into groundwater. This lays an oil and gas industry myth to rest once and for all. With this proof in hand, there must be absolutely no more delay in closing the loopholes that leave our drinking water sources vulnerable to toxic chemicals.”


Kathleen Sutcliffe, Earthjustice, (202) 797-5235