Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Sep 16, 2014 in Personal Injury
A study released Monday has found that the drinking water in North Texas Barnett Shale and Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale has been contaminated by natural gas operations.
Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study examined the effects of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, concluding that neither operation has any negative impact on drinking water. Instead, the authors say, faulty casings and cement in gas wells meant to protect groundwater have contributed to leaks into surface aquifers.
Environmental consequences of natural gas production has been a highly contested topic in recent years, and this study contributes to a growing body of information as to its impacts.
Authored by Thomas Darrah of Ohio State University and co-authored by scientists from Duke University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College and the University of Rochester, the study was partly initiated by concern that the fracking taking place in the Barnett Shale region was harmful to residents drinking water.
While the Texas Railroad Commission and many other industry regulators claim fracking is a safe practice, public debate as to its potential human health and environmental impacts have sparked a backlash. On November 4, Denton residents will vote on whether to ban fracking in that city; critics believe that fracking poses risks of chemicals and gas leaking into the public water supply.
While the study concluded that specific samples from Barnett Shale were definitely not the result of fracking, water samples around the region were nonetheless contaminated with trace signatures of noble gases like helium, neon and argon.
Darrah noted that some of the gases found their way into the aquifers after traveling through a crack in the well; others leaked from shallower formations. If fracking had been to blame, Darrah said that may lead to potentially serious environmental complications.
Drilling for natural gases can have a serious impact on citizens. If you or someone you love have been exposed to contaminated water in Texas, you deserve justice for what you suffered.