For the first time, a study has found evidence of chemicals used in fracking natural gas wells in groundwater supplies. The contamination likely occurred before Pennsylvania strengthened its regulations around oil and gas drilling.
When the Environmental Protection Agency released a report in 2011 linking groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming to fracking, it sparked a national debate about the safety of drilling for oil and gas. Response to the latest report on Pavillion groundwater contamination, released Wednesday, was considerably more muted, with just a handful of articles in the local media.
If you believe a natural gas or oil operation near your house is making you sick – maybe you were breathing in dust from trucks, or losing sleep due to round-the-clock drilling – how would you voice your concerns? Could you be sure someone was actually listening? Would you know if others shared your health concerns? The answers to those questions vary widely state to state: In Colorado, state health or staff of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission respond to complaints and log them in a public database. In North Dakota, your complaint will be logged and addressed, but the database isn’t public.
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