Water Pollution from Fracking in Four US States

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The fossil fuel industry may say that fracking does not cause pollution in our water ways, that it is an urban myth, but hundreds of complaints have been made in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas, according to the Associated Press.

The Pennsylvania complaints can include allegations of short-term diminished water flow, as well as pollution from stray gas or other substances. More than 100 cases of pollution were confirmed over the past five years.

Fracking has reduced the United States’ dependency on imported fuel and has led to a boom in the industry. But many fear it causes pollution as the extraction method relies on pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of water into the ground to break free the oil and gas.

The AP reports: “Some people who rely on well water near drilling operations have complained about pollution, but there’s been considerable confusion over how widespread such problems are.”

Environmental departments in the four states have denied information to journalists, making complaints seem random and unrelated.

Experts and regulators agree that investigating complaints of water-well contamination is particularly difficult, in part because some regions also have natural methane gas pollution or other problems unrelated to drilling.

But other experts say people who are trying to understand the benefits and harms from the drilling boom need comprehensive details about complaints, even if some cases are from natural causes.

If the industry is harmless, surely it should have nothing to hide.

Article by Daniel F Benson-Guiu, appearing courtesy Celsias.

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About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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