By TONI ELLINGTON
Two studies released last week have concluded that the hydraulic fracturing process is not linked to groundwater contamination. The U.S. Department of Energy released a technical report on September 15, 2014, on the results of monitoring fracking operations in the Marcellus Shale in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Research was conducted on a six wells in the same area. The research found that the chemicals and brine from the drilling process which are used to free the gas during hydraulic fracturing stayed below the groundwater level and did not cause contamination.
The Department of Energy study can be found at www.netl.doe.gov. A spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition hailed the Department of Energy study as proof that hydraulic fracturing is a “safe and well-regulated technology.”
A second independent study conducted by researchers from Duke University was also released on September 15, 2014. The study was based on monitoring of 133 drinking water wells in Pennsylvania and Texas. The researchers found that faulty well construction, not the fracking process itself, caused contamination of groundwater. The study has been published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings corroborate claims by the energy industry that the fracking process itself is not likely to harm drinking water.
For more information, contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.