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Massive natural gas drilling under way in Pennsylvania and imminent in New York makes the Upper Delaware the most endangered river in America, according to American Rivers, a major environmental organization, whose yearly report, America's 10 Most Endangered Rivers, focuses national attention on rivers that need immediate safeguarding for "the benefit of people, wildlife and nature." On June 2nd, in a commemorative ceremony in Narrowsburg, NY, overlooking the majestic river, local citizens and leaders from government and advocacy groups gathered to hear the announcement, vowing to take action to protect the pristine river which provides drinking water for some 17 million people in New York and Pennsylvania.
DEP: Well Blowout Likely Contaminated Nearby Spring
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- According to Department of Environmental Protection officials in Harrisburg, test results show one water source was likely contaminated by the natural gas drilling site that blew out Thursday.
Investigators said natural gas and contaminated water spewed from an E-O-G Resources well for 16 hours until crews could cap the well near Penfield.
A DEP official confirmed with WJAC-TV that a test result from a spring within 1/8 mile of the drill site shows a noticeable increase in conductivity.
According to Penn State Environmental Engineering professor Dr. Brian Dempsey, water used in the hydrofracturing process to penetrate shale and release natural gas can often contain eight times more salt than sea water.
"The higher conductivity means there's a high salt concentration, much higher than previously,” said Dempsey. “It's an indication that the frac water has penetrated to that level."