New Federal Study: Fracking Did Not Pollute Groundwater

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Note from Christi:

The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory recently found that fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process did not contaminate drinking water aquifers.


By: Dana Boham, Energy in Depth

It’s the linchpin argument of the anti-fracking movement, and federal researchers are once again saying it’s without merit.

New research from the National Energy Technology Laboratory, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, has found that fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process (often called “fracking”) did not contaminate drinking water aquifers. As reported by the Associated Press:

Drilling fluids tagged with unique markers were injected more than 8,000 feet below the surface, but were not detected in a monitoring zone 3,000 feet higher. That means the potentially dangerous substances stayed about a mile away from drinking water supplies.

Eight new Marcellus Shale horizontal wells were monitored seismically and one was injected with four different man-made tracers at different stages of the fracking process, which involves setting off small explosions to break the rock apart. The scientists also monitored a separate series of older gas wells that are about 3,000 feet above the Marcellus to see if the fracking fluid reached up to them.

The industry and many state and federal regulators have long contended that fracking itself won’t contaminate surface drinking water because of the extreme depth of the gas wells. Most are more than a mile underground, while drinking water aquifers are usually within 500 to 1000 feet of the surface.

Continue to read the full article here.