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Pennsylvania's Fracking Program Gets Mostly High Marks in Independent Review

Still, stricter regulations and disclosure of toxic chemicals used are needed

By Stacy Feldman

Sep 28, 2010

At a minimum, the review recommends the chemical recipes be made "available to medical personnel in the event of a medical emergency related to hydraulic fracturing."

Water Contamination Evident

The heat is on hydraulic fracturing as the practice has ballooned from 1 percent of U.S. natural gas production in 2000 to roughly 10 percent today. It could unlock enough natural gas to supply the entire nation for 90 years, according to a recent .

Earlier this month, environmental group released of more than 100 cases of fracking-related poisoning. One-fifth were instances of drinking-water contamination across Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.

The STRONGER panel said there have been no instances "where groundwater has been contaminated by hydraulic fracturing" in the state.

Tom Au said that statement is "very limited."

"There's been plenty of incidences where surface water is being contaminated," he said. "Just to say there are no incidences where groundwater is contaminated does not convey the full picture on water quality."

Jarrett, too, challenged this finding. Groundwater has been contaminated "as a result of methane migration due to faulty construction" of wells, she said. "Our aquifers are only a couple of hundred feet down."

Case in point, Jarrett said, is Dimock Township, in Susquehanna County, where methane has been migrating at least two miles from a drilling site and is bubbling up in the Susquehanna River.

For Jarrett, the good news is that the DEP appears to be getting tough.

In April, the state agency fined Houston-based drill operator Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. $240,000 and ordered it to plug up its three Dimock wells. It also suspended the review process for new permits Cabot was seeking.

They "seem to be policing [the drillers]," Jarrett said. "They've shut people down."

See also:

EPA Results Show Contaminated Water in Wyoming Fracking Zone

Wyoming Survey Points to High Incidence of 'Fracking' Related Health Problems 

Shale Gas Booming Globally, Despite Chemical Dangers

Gas Drilling Ban in NY Still a Possibility in 2010

Congressional Members Intensify Hydraulic Fracking Probe 

Natural Gas Boom Not Worth Costs and Risks, Study Warns



Drilling Chemicals

Local Line LLC is specialised in providing Services and supplies to oil and gas sectors. Supplies different types of chemicals used in oil sectors in the Middle East and around the world. 

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