Environmental

United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory. [Draft]. “Investigation of Ground Water Contamination near Pavillion, Wyoming.” EPA 600/R-00/000. December 8, 2011

A draft report (not yet peer-reviewed) which concludes that fracking likely explains methane contamination of deep groundwater near Pavillion, Wyoming and that shallow groundwater contamination was likely due to surface spills of fracking wastewater.

Download the report.

Read the article.

U. S. EPA. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. [Report to Congress]. “Management of Wastes from the Exploration, Development, and Production of Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Geothermal Energy.” EPA/530-SW-88-003. December 8, 1987.

Report cites example of water well contamination by hydraulic fracturing fluids, and importantly states that investigation of other suspected cases of contamination was thwarted by the sealing of legal settlements between landowners and drilling companies.

N.B.: 1987 report had been buried and forgotten until an Environmental Working Group report published August 3, 2011, in conjunction with a New York Times story.

Link to copy of 1987 EPA report, hosted by The New York Times.

Osborn, Stephen G. et al. “Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. April 14, 2011

The study, published by the National Academy of Sciences, found that average methane concentrations in shallow drinking water in active gas drilling areas were 17 times higher than those in non-active areas. The methane concentrations of drinking water closest to active gas wells were considered potential explosion hazards.

Link to report.

Read the article.

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Energy and Commerce. Minority Staff Report. “Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing.” April 2011.

The congressional investigations found that fracking fluids contained 750 chemicals, some of which were very hazardous to human health, including benzene and lead. Fracking fluids even included diesel fuel, which contains carcinogens such as benzene and toluene and is the only fracking chemical that requires a permit to inject into wells under Safe Water Drinking Act.

Download the full report. 

Read the article.

Caruso, David B. “State allows dumping of tainted wastewater.” Associated Press. January 3, 2011.

The review of Pennsylvania’s fracking water treatment revealed the state could not account for the disposal method of 1.28 million barrels of wastewater (one-fifth of the annual total) due to faulty reporting. Some drinking water utilities downstream from fracking wastewater facilities have struggled to sufficiently treat or remove trihalomethanes, which can cause cancer with chronic exposure and which likely resulted from high-levels of bromide in fracking wastewater.

Read the full report.