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WASHINGTON — Methane leaks are contaminating drinking water near shale gas drilling sites in the northeastern United States, scientists said Tuesday, placing a further question mark over this fast-growing energy source. Scientists tested water samples taken from 68 private wells in five counties in Pennsylvania and New York to explore accusations that "hydro-fracking" -- a contested technique to extract shale gas -- has contaminated groundwater. Methane was found in 85 percent of the samples, and at sites within a kilometer (0.6 mile) of active hydraulic-fracturing operations, levels were 17 times higher than in wells far from such operations, said the study by researchers at Duke University in North Carolina.
The paper found no evidence of contamination from the chemicals used to fracture the rock or from "produced" water -- the wastewater that emerges from the wells after the shale has been fractured.
"We are just revealing something that should have been revealed long ago before the boom took place. In some places it might be too late."
The study, published on Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), said the methane sampled near the fracking sites had an isotopic fingerprint that pointed to its source.
In April, scientists from New York's Cornell University found that current extraction techniques meant that shale gas carried a greater carbon footprint than oil, coal and conventional gas over at least a 20-year period.
the conspiracy theorist in me keeps feeling like they are doing this on purpose to contaminate people Well water...
Originally posted by OrganicAnagram33
reply to post by LeaderOfProgress
Umm... Have you seen the documentary Gasland? You should really watch that. I don't think you're informed of the plethora of dangers associated with fracking.
Originally posted by LeaderOfProgress
I am very informed as to the affects and dangers of fracking.
Last week the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection shut down some operations of natural gas driller Cabot Oil & Gas after 8,000 gallons of toxic chemicals were spilled on the ground and into a creek in Susquehanna County.
While the existence of the toxic wastes has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood. The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle. The Times also found never-reported studies by the EPA and a confidential study by the drilling industry that all concluded that radioactivity in drilling waste cannot be fully diluted in rivers and other waterways. But the EPA has not intervened. The risks are particularly severe in Pennsylvania, where drilling has increased. "In shifting away from coal and toward natural gas, we're trying for cleaner air, but we're producing massive amounts of toxic wastewater with salts and naturally occurring radioactive materials, and it's not clear we have a plan for properly handling this waste," said John Quigley, who left last month as secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Industry spends millions trying to convince the public and our lawmakers of the benefits of "natural" gas, but a quick look at the propaganda reveals some deep flaws. The gall of gas megacorporations is surpassed only by the preposterousness of their claims. They spend millions each year trying to convince the public and our lawmakers of the benefits of "natural" gas (NG), but a quick look at their propaganda reveals some deep flaws.