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Don’t Drink the Water: Fracking Fluid Likely in PA Drinking Water Supply

Don’t Drink the Water: Fracking Fluid Likely in PA Drinking Water Supply

Live in Pennsylvania?  Live near a fracking well?  If so, the chances of finding fracking fluid seeping into your drinking water — a major concern that’s been touted by environmental groups and independent researchers for years — may be more likely than previously thought.

Scientists at Duke University and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona found that water from wells and aquifers in Northeastern Pennsylvania contained traces of brine from the Marcellus Shale, the shale deposit found in the northern Appalachian region of North America and the deposit popularly cited for domestic fracking operations. Brine, a naturally occurring substance, is acting as an indicator to a disturbing fact: previously thought to be “contained” underground chemicals may not be so contained after all.  In fact, these same chemicals could be seeping toward the surface and into our drinking water supply much more easily and frequently then predicted.

While no specific fracking chemicals were detected in this study, the mere thought that chemicals can move freely through underground rock layers more so than previously believed is very alarming. The findings also contradict the notion typically upheld by vested interests, predominately composed of oil and gas companies, that rock formations deep within the Earth will securely seal in material injected thousands of feet underground, whether through underground disposal or drilling. However, matter can’t just disappear and will inevitably end up somewhere down the line.

The joint Duke/California State University study isn’t the only one discovering a connection between injecting chemicals deep underground and local drinking water ramifications. In 2011, Duke researchers also found that “methane gas was far more likely to leak into water supplies in places adjacent to drilling.” In addition, in April of this year, Ground Water published a paper that predicted fracking fluid contaminants could “reach the surface within 100 years – or fewer if the ground is fracked.”

The oil and gas industry is not happy to hear this news, immediately questioning the legitimacy of the findings, citing “researchers do not know how long it may have taken for the brine to leak.” However, the question isn’t about how long it will take for chemicals to make their way to the surface of the Earth; the simple fact that brine can travel to the surface, therefore entering groundwater systems, is enough evidence to raise serious concern. Whether this process takes 10, 50 or 100 years shouldn’t matter. What should matter most is preventing any fracking chemicals from ever entering our water and our land, period.

Related Stories:

Accidental Vote Legalizes Fracking in North Carolina

Vermont First State to Ban Fracking

Ohio Fracking Wastewater Test Reveals Toxic Mess

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Photo Credit: Meredithw

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61 comments

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5:18PM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

Doesn't surprise me and Ohio"s Kasich want to allow fracking. What a way to poison and kill your citizens. Way to go Kasich.

8:58PM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

Thanks for sharing

1:34PM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

signed.

7:36PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

scary

7:35PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

scary

8:23AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Elaine, It appears that you hail from the Great State of New York, you'r neighbor New Jersey is a leader in solar usage. Why not NY?

Our home has been solar and wind powered for over 30 years, we have produced our own fuel for nearly15 years, BioDiesel. For 30 years, we have made concerted to reduce, renew, and to recycle, and yet, I hear from so many that someone must else must do it first.

Don't put much faith in that of Government, whether it be State, Federal or Local, they are but a bunch of self-serving idiots. I believe that if we left them to their own devices, they might well self-destruct, if by only by by slapping themselves on the back.

At the end of the day, Fracking is quickly moving to a place where its long term effects may well prove to be irreversible.

Don't worry about the LLC's who created this long term problem...they are protected by special provision under the EPA.

8:01AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

These greedy & immoral power company ceo's who keep forcing these harmful processes on humanity, wildlife, nature, and Mother Earth should all die a slow painful death from a terminal disease.

6:25AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Anything that Dick Cheney has been involved in turns to death and permanent destruction. The Devil doesn't want the evil bastard.

12:46AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

I live in PA & have nightmare about what fracking is doing to our Earth. I will continue to stop it in PA & from expanding to other areas like NY. Sign the petition to Gov. Coumo. Keep the pressure on our politicians for clean energy alternatives. Go solar power, go wind power!

12:22AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Why do we keep doing things when we only learn too late that the consequences hold dangerous repercussions... I mean if your driving down the road and you see that there's a cliff straight ahead, don't you want to change direction...?

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