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Two more cases of drinking water contamination linked to fracking

Amy Mall

Posted December 11, 2013

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Michael and Nancy Leighton of Granville Summit, Pennsylvania, report that tests of their drinking water found clean and safe water in May, 2011, before fracking occurred near their home, but that water testing conducted in May, 2012--after nearby fracking--found substantial increases in the levels of methane, ethane, propane, iron and manganese in their groundwater. They report that their water "drastically changed in clarity and color, had a foul odor, contained noticeable levels of natural gas," and had "become flammable." In addition, they report that the creek on their property began bubbling at the surface. 

In the fall of 2012, Howard and Nielle Hawkwood, ranchers near  Cochrane, Canada, lost ten percent of their cattle herd (18 cattle) after fracking near their ranch. Their veterinarian found the cattle had an electrolyte imbalance, but couldn’t treat it.  They also noticed an “off taste” in their drinking water and had the water tested. Compared to previous years, the chloride levels had doubled. Mr. Hawkwood reports that he has also checked the water of all of his neighbors, and says, “Everybody’s got the same problem.” In addition to their water contamination, the Hawkwoods also report severe air pollution, health problems, and damage to their barn and other property due to underground vibrations.

I'll be adding these incidents to the list of other incidents where hydraulic fracturing is a suspected cause of drinking water contamination.

These incidents--and the many other reports of the health and environmental risks related to fracking--are why NRDC is working to keep people safe from the perils of fracking, including fighting for federal regulation of fracking, protecting the rights of communities to put safeguards in place, and moving America beyond fossil fuels as rapidly as possible. 

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Michael BerndtsonDec 11 2013 01:53 PM

Keep that list, Amy. Since there's minimal reporting required at the state and fed levels, someone has to do it. I get stuck in conversations about fracking fairly often. Sometimes with Chicago meatballs and other times with country club republicans. It's uncanny how these two circles, who never intersect, have the same understanding of fracking and the environment. It's almost like they watch the same news channel.

Amy MallDec 12 2013 01:13 PM

Dear Michael: Thanks for the comment. It is amazing to me how often the topic of fracking is raised by others in conversations I have outside of work. More and more people are becoming aware of the implications of dirty energy and are looking to their elected officials for clean energy solutions.

Paul BodnickDec 12 2013 04:23 PM

Please join "No Fracking Way" on Face Book.

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