Study finds no groundwater contamination from fracking, but industry not off the hook
Study finds no groundwater contamination from fracking, but industry not off the hook.
DURHAM, N.C. — Research from a team at Duke University finds ground water contamination from fracking of gas wells is minimal in West Virginia.
“The fact we’re feeling confident it’s not coming from shale gas is that we conducted measurements at about 20 wells prior to any installation of shale gas wells,” he explained.
However, many still have the problem of methane or saline in their water wells.
“One of our findings is naturally occurring and saline ground water is pretty prevalent in this area,” he said.
Management of fracking waste is identified in the same study as a serious problem and a repeated source of surface water contamination.
“We used this same assembly of chemical forensic tools to confirm those spills are indeed coming from frack water.” Dr. Vengosh said it’s not uncommon for the industry to deny the spills were the source of contamination and often blamed it on the region’s long history of mining or conventional gas development.
Several spills happened at the well pad while others were from waste stored at injection well sites.
“Management of the waste water is the weakest part of shale gas development in the area,” Vengosh said.
Even a small volume of that leaking into the environment could cause a huge impact.”