Drilling Chemicals Found In Drinking Water Near Natural Gas Sites

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contaminated-drinking-water-drilling-chemicals.jpgFor the first time, scientists have discovered chemicals used in a controversial natural gas drilling technique in water wells near the gas sites.

Scientists for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), testing wells near a major gas drilling area in Wyoming, have found traces of drilling chemicals in three wells, and other contaminants — including oil, gas, and heavy metals — in 11 of 39 wells recently tested, according to the Web site Pro Publica.

The chemicals are used in a process called hydraulic fracturing, in which drilling fluids and sand are injected under high pressure to break up rock and release gas.

Using the fracturing technique, abundant gas reserves are being developed in 31 states, although officials in New York have imposed a moratorium on the process — which uses large amounts of water — until its environmental impact can be assessed.

Congress is also considering a bill to regulate the process, but the gas industry has said regulation is unnecessary because it is impossible for fracturing fluids to contaminate underground water supplies. The recent tests, which may refute the industry’s claim, are continuing.

Appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360.

[photo credit: Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica]

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2 Comments

  1. U.S. government scientists have for the first time found chemical contaminants in drinking water wells near natural gas drilling operations,fueling concern that a gas-extraction technique is endangering the health of people who live close to drilling rigs hydrogen for car

  2. as i recall, wyoming is a major source of drilling chemicals, possibly traces have and always will be in the drinking water

    Hey, your breathing in to much nitrogen, you might explode

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