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Power Earth Science Technology

Study Finds Fracking Chemicals Didn't Pollute Water 237

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-was-like-that-when-we-found-it dept.
RoccamOccam sends this news from the Associated Press: "A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site. After a year of monitoring, the researchers found that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water."
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Study Finds Fracking Chemicals Didn't Pollute Water

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  • Sounds iffy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:16PM (#44332435) Homepage Journal
    How can they be sure that they didn't detect the fracking chemicals when the industry continues to refuse to reveal the identity of said chemicals? It is nearly impossible to do a study where you watch for every conceivable chemical that ever has or ever could exist.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      I know, right?

      It is virutally impossible to detect Dihydroxen Monoxide once it gets into the ground water.

    • Re:Sounds iffy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dlakelan (43245) <dlakelan@street- ... ER.org minus cat> on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:21PM (#44332485) Homepage

      It's pretty easy to run water through a gas chromatograph / mass spec and see if it has anything other than water in it, and how much of that stuff it has. A bit harder to figure out exactly what the pollutant is, but if you have a sample of the fracking water it's easy to look at the peaks the fracking water has and see if they appear in the drinking water even if you don't know the identity of the chemicals.

      • Re:Sounds iffy (Score:5, Informative)

        by oreaq (817314) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:56PM (#44332873)
        I agree, it wouldn't be that difficult. But that is not what was done in the study. An undisclosed amount of four unnamed marker chemicals where added to the chemicals used for fracking by a company at one fracking site. Within the one year the study has been running, non of these markers where detected in a predetermined "monitoring zone". Maybe the study has some value, but since there is no citation in the article and the article contains no facts beside the ones I just mentioned, it is really hard to tell.
        • Regardless of the results of the study, when a person turns on the tap and when what use to be potable drinking water is now the source for a Flair, it begs the question, "What Changed?"
          • I presume that was supposed to be Flare.
          • Re:Sounds iffy (Score:4, Informative)

            by Freddybear (1805256) on Friday July 19, 2013 @05:43PM (#44333305)

            Nothing changed. That area has had methane in the ground water since long before fracking ever happened.

            • Re:Sounds iffy (Score:5, Informative)

              by Xicor (2738029) on Friday July 19, 2013 @05:56PM (#44333373)

              Nothing changed. That area has had methane in the ground water since long before fracking ever happened.

              this article only talks about the fracking chemicals being leaked into the groundwater... it does not mention the other problem with fracking, which is that it causes fault lines to shift and ruptures in the ground due to increased pressure. the latter is what causes methane to leak into the groundwater, which then gets into drinking water. methane is not one of the fracking chemicals, and therefore the study didnt mention it.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by PRMan (959735)
                Again, I wish I had mod points today.
              • Fracking wells themselves are too deep for that to matter very much, also the pressure of fracking is momentary, much more like blasting in a mine. The problem you describe is more likely to be caused by a brine-injection well, which is done at shallower depths and is intended for long-term storage of the injected brine at pressure. I know, we've had several small earthquakes here in NE Ohio resulting from improperly operated brine injection wells.

              • Re:Sounds iffy (Score:5, Insightful)

                by kevmeister (979231) on Friday July 19, 2013 @08:21PM (#44334305)

                People seem unable to read papers any longer. This is especially true of the news media. The study on earthquakes repeatedly pointed out that there was NO evidence that fracking itself led to earthquakes. It said that the practice of pumping the toxic waste from fracking into deep wells for disposal, a common, but not universal practice, could and did lead to quakes.

                Back in the mid 1960s Colorado experienced a series of quakes, some strong enough to cause damage. Those earthquakes were tracked to the use of deep well disposal at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The well was used for disposal of chemical warfare agents (toxic gases and their components). The strongest was felt quite strongly in Trinidad, CO, some 200 miles south of the well. I grew up there and felt it personally. This led to the discontinuation of this disposal method [wikipedia.org].

                I am simply amazed that half a century after this well documented and researched event that it seems to have been forgotten.

          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            Coincidence is not causality.
            Old underground fuel tanks, factories, ag chemicals, dry cleaners, the list of potential causes goes on and on. Not to mention that the the oil industry got it's start in that area because crude oil was bubbling up in springs and wells and at least one spring in the area has had flammable water from methane contamination since the area was settled or invaded if one must be politically correct.

      • It's pretty easy to run water through a gas chromatograph / mass spec and see if it has anything other than water in it, and how much of that stuff it has.

        I do MS and MS data interpretation on a regular basis and I need to point out to you that you are oversimplifying the situation. MS detection is limited by - at the very least - two important factors; the ion source and the ion detector. If you don't know what compounds you are looking for, you may well not be able to ionize them using any of your common methods (water and most alcohols are great examples of this; they usually are shed in the ionization process). Similarly if you don't know the appropri

    • Re:Sounds iffy (Score:5, Informative)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:21PM (#44332487) Journal

      The way I read it (yes, I read the article) is that they put a marker of some kind into the chemical brew being slugged into the ground, and found no sign of that marker in ground water. Now obviously there are still questions to be raised, but still, in and of itself, this seems a pretty reasonable way to determine groundwater contamination.

      • Re:Sounds iffy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Herkum01 (592704) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:40PM (#44332707)

        It depends on the marker that they use. If the marker is something that is not as soluble or emulates the characteristic of the fracking recipe. You also have the problem of how they injected the marker versus how they normally proceed. A concern was that they were more careful in projects where they were injecting the marker rather than how they normally do business. Finally, Pennsylvania is not the only place they do fracking different soils and naturally occurring fault lines were major concerns.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jarik C-Bol (894741)
          One would imagine that if the marker was significantly different in solubility (or other characteristics) from the fracking solution, It would cause problems with said fracking solution, such as changing its viscosity, precipitating out or floating out, or any number of things. Based on this reasonable assumption, One would imagine that the marker was chosen to be able to be mixed into the fracking solution and remain a homogenous part of that solution. Thus, if any of the solution got where it was not supp
        • No, Pennsylvania is not the only place, but it is by far one of the shallowest and most naturally fractured/faulted. One would expect groundwater contamination to be more likely there than in any other area I know of.
      • Re:Sounds iffy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rsborg (111459) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:48PM (#44332795) Homepage

        The way I read it (yes, I read the article) is that they put a marker of some kind into the chemical brew being slugged into the ground, and found no sign of that marker in ground water. Now obviously there are still questions to be raised, but still, in and of itself, this seems a pretty reasonable way to determine groundwater contamination.

        How is that even reasonable? Why not measure the actual contaminants and check elevation levels?

        Here's a question that immediately comes up for me: What if the markers have different rock/soil permeability compared to the chemicals used in fracking? Are those markers closely enough in characteristics to the chemicals used as to be valid for purposes of testing exposure/pollution?

        How about another one - why is the DoE doing this test as opposed to the EPA (who are likely more versed in measuring pullution)?

        Not testing the presence of the actual chemicals/pollutants doesn't pass the sniff test for me. Something stinks here.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you would RTFA, you would notice that they're not just testing the drinking water for ytterbium contamination, they are using seismographic technologies to watch the spread of liquids in the fracking boreholes. That's how they can tell that one well's liquids migrated 1,800 feet from the target region (which is also noted to still be around a mile below the surface and far from any drinking water).

    • It is nearly impossible to do a study where you watch for every conceivable chemical that ever has or ever could exist.

      No it isn't. You just take out the water, take out the normal minerals found in ground water, and then see what is left. What they found was that nothing was left. Which is exactly what they should have expected. Methane is far more mobile than any fracking chemicals, and was unable to permeate the overlaying layers of shale for millions of years. So how could the fracking chemicals do it? Answer: they didn't.

    • It is nearly impossible to do a study where you watch for every conceivable chemical that ever has or ever could exist.

      On the contrary, mass spectrometry makes it pretty easy. You'll see everything that's in the sample. You might not be able to *identify* everything, but you'll see everything. Presumably they were able to identify everything, or they wouldn't have published this result.

      • It is nearly impossible to do a study where you watch for every conceivable chemical that ever has or ever could exist.

        On the contrary, mass spectrometry makes it pretty easy

        Mass spec is not a magic bullet. For reasons I mentioned to an earlier reply, it cannot identify all possible compounds in solution. Being as the fracking mix itself is always shrouded in "trade secret" cover it is impossible to know what to watch for and hence the likelihood of finding anything is not real great. Are there polar compounds in the fracking mix? We don't know. Are there highly charged compounds in the fracking mix? We don't know. Are there volatile organics in the fracking mix? We do

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:17PM (#44332441)
    So what the hell is being done about keeping your damn hippie drinking water from contaminating my fracking solution??
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:21PM (#44332483)

    One site, one test well. Big whoop.

    >shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site

    > one was injected with four different man-made tracers

    • by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:30PM (#44332603)
      Who picked the site? What was the criteria for selection? A year of monitoring also seems to be pretty short to come to conclusions when we are talking about the most important resource on the planet.

      Jackson said the 1,800-foot fracture was very interesting, but also noted it is still a mile from the surface.

      Love the lackadaisical attitude.

    • Indeed: http://www.howstuffworks.com/search.php?terms=fracking [howstuffworks.com]

      The main issue does not appear to be that a properly administered site leaks fracking fluids into the drinking water... it's that most sites have no oversight and don't always handle the fracking fluids properly.

      While it's useful to know that there isn't contamination from the properly injected deep-seam fracking fluids, this doesn't really help the people who are victims of sites where the injection column lelaked at drinking water levels, extra fluid was dumped at ground level, or any of the other hundreds of possible things that could happen... happened.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If the 'injection column' (as you put it) leaks in any way, shape or form, at any depth, it isn't a fracking issue, and it never was. The wellbore wasn't cemented properly when the casing was installed, an operation that was completed months or even years before the frack company was hired by the well owner to come in and do the frac.

        Here's more food for thought: Such a well is going to leak hydrocarbons and water and whatever else comes up the wellbore, whether or not it gets fracked.

        Feel free to demand mo

  • One data point... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:21PM (#44332493)

    Assuming everything's above the board (so to speak), these results are all fine and dandy, but this single scenario doesn't itself make for a glowing endorsement of fracking's safety. For one thing, I'm wondering how the results from sites with fracking-related earthquakes might look.

    Does anyone really want to bet that aquifers near other fracking sites are just as fracking-chemical-free?

  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@@@comcast...net> on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:23PM (#44332513)

    It's not possible! The results are politically incorrect and will go against the dogma of 'we must be miserable'. Not to worry, someone will quickly find a way to bury this, spin this or otherwise make this moot. We can't let science speak, that's what we have greenpeace for.

    • After a year of monitoring

      Yay! It's safe! *phew*

    • It's a little obnoxious for you to be saying that given the amount of denial that is still going on with carbon emissions and evolution. I mean "We can't let science speak" is the motto for the republican party. This time the science backs up the pro-buisiness side, and you're acting as if the greens are trying to censor it? For god's sake, it's on slashdot: it must have been in the news three weeks ago!
      • by onyxruby (118189)

        Your missing the point, greenpeace has absolutely nothing to do with the green movement. Replacement of coal with natural gas powered plants has done far more the green movement than greenpeace has in it's entire history. I could go on and on, but read up on the history of greenpeace, an organization so bad that even their founder has has turned on the.

        I'm an old school environmentalist, from years before it was 'politically correct' to be one. Greenpeace has done more to harm the green movement than Koch b

  • In this case. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by intermodal (534361) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:23PM (#44332531) Homepage Journal

    Sure, it didn't get into the groundwater this time. My concern is whether proper studies are being done to ensure that other sites do not see different results from the supposedly clean ones here.

  • by csubi (950112) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:25PM (#44332539)

    Nothing made its way up in a year, hardly surprising.

    I'm sure people will be happy when they see these chemical showing up in the water a couple hundred years from now, then discovering records about fracking in archives. They will probably say things like : they could not have been this stupid?!

    Again, the problem here is timescale. One should not think in decades but in centuries.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Its almost as bad as storing a dangerous explosive gas below ground. Not just a few cubic meters mind you, but millions! I think we should do our best to take these volatile organic compounds from their unregulated and unauthorized locations -- and for the children -- dispose of them in such a way that they will not combust and threaten the lives of our precious innocents!

    • by steelfood (895457)

      They're not even thinking in decades here. They're thinking in single-digit years.

      Come back and retest after 10 years of fracking, or test sites that have been fracking for 10+ years. Then they'll be thinking in decades.

    • by Nemyst (1383049) on Friday July 19, 2013 @05:10PM (#44333023) Homepage
      You're asking for long-term thinking from corporations? Ha! They can't think long-term even when it'd benefit them, imagine when they don't give a shit about it.
  • Says it all! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tempest451 (791438) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:33PM (#44332643)
    "While the lack of contamination is encouraging, Jackson said he wondered whether the unidentified drilling company might have consciously or unconsciously taken extra care with the research site, since it was being watched. " Ya think?
    • The researchers seem pretty open about the results. It's one site, and clearly one site does not a full study represent. Obviously the industry is going to trumpet this as the be-all and end-all, just as they did with some preliminary research, now largely debunked, that fracking didn't lead to or at least exacerbate earthquakes. That's the part I'm still dubious about. It's rather like feeding a five hundred pound guy a near-fatal dose (if he was 200 pounds) of arsenic and then, when he doesn't drop dead a

  • This segment of oil and gas propaganda was brought to you by the good ol' folks of the Marcellus Shale Coalition and its friends at ANGA. What a joke! I'm sure the American Natural Gas Association (ANGA) will advertise even more on your station now as a thank you for this puff piece you proffered as news. I live in SW PA. I sadly know many, many families whose lives have been destroyed by the onslaught of drilling and fracking. For them, this might be the most insulting study I have seen to date. Why not point out, CBS, that the state of PA never even had 1 cumulative impact study on human health or the environment before they allowed the takeover of our state and government by big oil and gas. No consideration whatsoever for what this would do to our health, our air, our water. We are here to be the guinea pigs and no one really seems to care thanks to a lack of media integrity and coverage about the reality of living in the gasfields. CBS should be embarrassed to even play along with this type of bought and paid for "journalism". Congratulations Duke! You found a company here that can drill and maintain a gas pad exactly as it should be without a single complication and did a study (like the 7 or 8% failure rate on the cement well casings. This is one of the major reasons we have had so much water contamination and methane migration in this state. Check the DEP numbers here in PA. That is failure of cement casing on just the completion of wells, not the overall failure rate, over time, that is much, much higher). It is terrifying to think about all of the damage that the fractures (1800 ft) themselves can or will do in addition to the failed casings. You seem there are hundreds of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, and coal mines in all corners of this state that are further complicating this type of migration and contamination. Why not investigate that? Looking at one well and saying "Hey, this is how it is supposed to work when it does. See, it can happen." is not any kind of science or research that helps those of us screaming "WHAT DO WE DO WHEN YOUR DRILL SITES FAIL; WHEN YOUR FRACK PITS LEAK TOXIC WASTE; WHEN YOUR TRUCKS SPILL AND YOUR WORKERS ILLEGALLY DUMP ON OUR ROADS AND IN OUR WATERWAYS? WHAT DO WE DO WHEN WE CAN'T BREATHE THE AIR OUTSIDE OF OUR HOMES AND ALL OF OUR POLITICIANS and REGULATORY AGENCIES ARE BEHOLDEN TO INDUSTRY AND NOT THE PEOPLE THEY WORK FOR?" Now there's a story we here in Gasland would love to see. I will take any honest journalist on a tour of what fracking really looks like when things go wrong, as they often do, from the view of the harmed, the sickened, the destroyed forests and farmland. I will show you the massive frackpits that sit behind people's houses and poison their air. I will show you what black, putrid water looks like where it used to run clean and water animals. I will let you smell the smell of flaring and burning of god knows what from giant cyrogenic plants next to the home of toddlers and daycare centers. I will show you where toxic waste is buried on farmland and where water catches fire and well after well is destroyed, thanks to all of the disruption of the earth below it. I could show you all of this and yet the sad truth is that you wouldn't even investigate or report on it, just like the media round these parts. You have an organization to run and that takes lots of advertising dollars, not honest reporting. Just keep spewing the BS about jobs, safety, doing it right, American independence from foreign oil, and every other lie and industry talking point that you tell to justify the plight of my neighbors and the destruction of our land and the profit of your news organization. I'll be here shaking my head at your fault, but fighting back. I'll watch as our resources are shipped to China and India, while more and more foreign companies drill and have more rights in our backyards than the citizens of this state. I'll watch with great sadness, your participation in the destruction of my democracy. And I will continue to speak truth to power. My eyes were opened a long time ago. I understand how the world works. I know what part in the coverup media outlets like you play. I only hope that many of your viewers wake up and take your news for what it is, good old American journaltizing at its best.
  • Fire water? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:36PM (#44332659) Homepage Journal

    But what about the videos of people lighting their tap water [pri.org]. Are there explanations that don't directly implicate fracking? I asking seriously. I haven't read up on those films and I'm sure someone has a perfectly reasonable sounding story for how that could be.

    And suppose the fracking chemicals themselves don't migrate. What about the petrochemicals they've broken loose (which is the whole reason for fracking in the first place, as I understand it)? Can those work their way up into the water supply?

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:58PM (#44332893)

      And suppose the fracking chemicals themselves don't migrate.

      . . . they could be carried by a swallow . . .

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Em Adespoton (792954)

      But what about the videos of people lighting their tap water [pri.org]. Are there explanations that don't directly implicate fracking? I asking seriously. I haven't read up on those films and I'm sure someone has a perfectly reasonable sounding story for how that could be.

      And suppose the fracking chemicals themselves don't migrate. What about the petrochemicals they've broken loose (which is the whole reason for fracking in the first place, as I understand it)? Can those work their way up into the water supply?

      As I understand it, when done properly, the petro and fracking chemicals either stay in the shale or end up back in the tankers.

      The problem is, according to some studies, it's only done properly 20% of the time or less, due to the high costs of doing it properly and the lack of effective oversight.

      In short, the chemicals usually migrate into the water supply due to dumping, accidents, and badly maintained equipment, not because they were properly injected into the shale/extracted and shipped to petrochemica

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Methane has been fairly common in groundwater long before fracking. Of course, the environmental activists don't want you to know that.

      • Re:Fire water? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday July 19, 2013 @07:43PM (#44334177) Journal

        Of course, the environmental activists don't want you to know that.

        So name one, point to an environmentalist that is claiming the phenomena is always a result of fracking.

        As an environmentalist since the 70's I want people to know they are pumping an unknown substance into the ground because they claim it's more effective than using plain old water (ie: it's more profitable). I want people to know that the US congress refuses to force frackers to reveal the recipe for their fluid.

        Also as a pragmatic environmentalist I can see that burning gas (or uranium) is a lesser evil than burning coal but it seems to me (in the US at least) that greed and the regulatory blindness it creates will destroy the overall social benefit from these natural resources, just as it has in Nigeria and dozens of other resource rich hell holes around the globe.

        Disclaimer: As someone who has a BSc and a lifelong passion for science I'm well aware that dissolved methane in tap water is more often a natural phenomena than a man made one. I am not responsible for other people making outrageous claims under the banner of "environmentalism", nor will I defend them if the science does not stack up.

        • It is more effective in that it is the only way economically possible at any reasonable multiple of current gas prices. With pure water, you would pressure out your pumps long before you could fracture the formation. The friction pressure in the pipe would be 10x what it is with the chemicals. Even without the pressure you have to overcome at the bottom of the hole, I want you to imagine pumping 60 bpm (2520 gal/min) through a 3 mile long 4" ID pipe.
    • Re:Fire water? (Score:5, Informative)

      by steelfood (895457) on Friday July 19, 2013 @05:14PM (#44333047)

      I don't recally where I heard this, but my understanding is that the tap water was flammable even prior to the fracking. Natural gas was contaminating the groundwater long before people began mining it. The way I see it, it may be that more places have flammable tap water after fracking, but being able to light water on fire by itself is not indicative of contaminated drinking water. It's more just attention-whoring and if you abscribe malice to the media, then classic straw-man misdirection.

      Stronger correlators, such as the tails of cows falling off after fracking began (I don't recall which, but one of the known chemicals used in fracking caused tails to fall off in laboratory experiments), would be a better argument for groundwater contamination.

      The other thing to realize is that just because one area is not contaminated does not imply that fracking in general does not contaminate the ground water. It could be due to the specific geology of the area. Or it could be variations in the fracking process used in that particular area or for this particular test.

      • being able to light water on fire by itself is not indicative of contaminated drinking water.

        Not sure if you're aware of this, but water is not normally flammable. In fact, if it catches on fire thats a pretty damn good indicator that it is contaminated with petrochemicals.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The explanation for every one of those tap water fires is the same: shitty well bore zone isolation. Whether or not fracking was used in the areas around those communities, it's not the fracking itself that leads to the fires. It's the shitty two-bit gas co that used shitty half-cut cement mix and thin-by-a-third casing strings, which one after another fail over time, letting gas from their production zone migrate up the well and out into places it should have never had the opportunity to go. Fracking c

  • by kilfarsnar (561956) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:37PM (#44332673)

    From my understanding, part of the problem with fracking is that the well casings don't always hold. So the chemicals and methane can leak out farther up the well where the drinking water is. The failure rate is supposedly pretty high, with 5% leaking immediately and 30% leaking over 10 years, or something like that. I don't know exact figures and it's hard to know who to trust these days anyway.

    Having just watched Gasland II, I don't necessarily trust the government's pronouncements either. According to that documentary (which is a bit propagandistic to be honest) the EPA did a study in Wyoming and found greatly elevated levels of chemicals in the drinking water. When the press release came out it gave the water a big thumbs up. Like I said, it's hard to know who to trust these days. Seems like everyone has an agenda.

    • by phayes (202222)

      My father has a farm in wellsville NY, inside the Marcellus shale region. The problem with methane saturated water wells long predates the use of fracking as the area is filled with played out oil wells from the initial oil boom in the late 1880's but hey, why be rational when complaining about fracking gets you in the news...

    • by MSG (12810)

      Seems like everyone has an agenda.

      Well, yes, but I tend to side first with the people whose agenda is "Don't kill us."

  • by pablo_max (626328) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:37PM (#44332675)

    It seems the US government has a very loose definition of "polluted".
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/06/fracking [economist.com]

  • Who did the study? Who funded them?

    If its from a red state, toss that shit out with the used diapers.

  • by alexhs (877055) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:37PM (#44332683) Homepage Journal

    So, they didn't test water pollution, only checked that fracking didn't contaminate water by using markers.
    Hower, other studies [npr.org] showed a correlation between fracking and presence of water pollutants.

    Therefore, the only logical conclusion is: water pollution causes fracking !

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      So, they didn't test water pollution, only checked that fracking didn't contaminate water by using markers.
      Hower, other studies [npr.org] showed a correlation between fracking and presence of water pollutants.

      Therefore, the only logical conclusion is: water pollution causes fracking !

      on some level that's actually probably true, areas where they give fracking licenses easily might have sloppier overall environmental checks, regardless of what the fracking happens to do.

      some americans get really weird about drinking water though, like being afraid that some company is exporting the water from the big lakes to china as drinking water.. fuck if you can get someone to pay for drinking water from other side of the globe then do it!

  • How much do you suppose CHK Energy forked over for that article to appear?

    Article doesn't address other much more serious incidents all over the NE in recent years...

  • Some fracking wells are very deep and have an impermeable layer of rick between the gas shale and the water table. In this type of fracking if is almost impossible to contaminate the water table. These wells have no more impact that the average oil well.

    Some fracking wells ate shallow with no impermeable layer between the gas shale and the water table. In this case, when the gas starts moving it can contaminate the aquifer. That is where the burning water issue comes in.

    The problem comes in that most anti-f

  • It can take years, decades, or even centuries for water to filter down into a deep aquifer, yet they've decided that after one year that there's no contamination from deep wells?

    Sounds more like a study performed by the Fracking industry than real scientists.

  • Gasland II (Score:4, Informative)

    by mspohr (589790) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:57PM (#44332887)

    Watch Gasland II.
    All wells will eventually leak into surface water. About 5% failure rate per year. (The cement around the pipe develops cracks.)
    They studied one well which didn't leak in the first year.
    Gasland II shows what happens when they do eventually leak.

  • I know I'll get modded way down for this, but it sounds reasonable to me. How can fracking at depths of 10,000+ feet contaminate ground/drinking water that is less than 200 feet deep?

  • The real problem is natural gas that rises into the water table and contaminates wells. Not a mention of that though.
  • ....groundwater moves 1) very slowly, and 2) horizontally as well as vertically.

  • I honestly believe them. However, what they investigated is not relevant. All they claim is that it is not the stuff they pump in that comes back out and contaminates the water. The study does NOT claim that the pollution is not an effect of the whole process, which it very possibly is.

  • Our household in Ohio depends on a private well for all our water, and it would surely be miserable if it got contaminated.

    Just today, our dogs were freaking out because of the fracking machinery running on the neighbor's property.
    Poor Blanche just shivers and pants. It's better with her Thundershirt, though she's still fearful.
    And my wife told me she felt another earthquake this afternoon. She's from CA, so she knows earthquakes.

    I guess we can live with all that, but you gotta have clean water! It's jus

  • If done properly and carefully, fracking does not produce environmental damage.

    If done properly and carefully, deep sea oil drilling does not produce environmental damage.

    If done properly and carefully, nuclear power does not produce environmental damage.

    However, we know from the last two examples, things are not always done properly and carefully.

    If we allow fracking, we have to assume that failures will occur, and have public plans, with pre-arranged financing, on how we will handle the inevitable failure

  • The term "cherry picking" relates to selecting a small sample of data which proves your point.

    All this study has proved is that AT THIS SITE fracking HAS NOT YET produced contamination of the water-table.

    The problem is that The Industry will now point to this SAMPLE OF ONE as proof that "fracking is non-polluting" and therefore needs to be LEGISLATED as "not requiring environmental evaluation, not requiring pollution checks, and generally ignoring concerned scientists/enrivonmentalists/local people dying
  • This makes me really feel safe. I'm all set to live in Western PA for EVER!
  • I suspect this is like many human activities: it can be done right, which explains we can find occurrence where water is not contaminated. But as usual if operators are just looking for profit, it will is badly done, and we get water pollution.

    Anyway in both cases, it will produce greenhouse gases, therefore I would be pleased if we could focus on other cleaner ways to get energy

  • And The Obamanation is a U.S. born citizen, 9/11 was perpetrated by arabs, the check's in the mail and nobody is spying on Americans because I said so. Really? If you believe Snowden is a traitor, then who among the voting populace voted for the NDAA? We have met the enemy and they are stealing our constitution, our homes, our jobs, our future as we know it. They are burdening us with immeasurable debt that has no end. Where's all the gold that is supposed to be in Ft. Knox? Why are our youth dieing in fore
  • So what happens when the shallow water supplies run out and we need to use the ones that are thousands of feet below the ground? Sure, it's currently economically unviable to drill that deep... but it was also economically unviable to frack just 10 years ago.

    I just can't fathom the stupidity of knowingly polluting a source of fresh water that our grandchildren will almost assuredly need to rely on some day.
  • Does anybody still believes what federal study "finds" ? They lied aboud GoM. They lied about financial fraud for years. They're busy covering up malfeasances of their corporate friends and they don't give a crap about ordinary citizens. They're busy spying everyone and jailing folks who point out their corruption and coverups. Is there anybody who still believes statements from our lovely government ?

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)

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