EPA Finds No Link Between Fracking And Water Contamination In Pennsylvania


One of the oft-repeated claims of the environmental hysterics opposing hydraulic fracturing is that it contaminates drinking water. A small town called Dimock in Pennsylvania, which resides in the middle of that state’s shale gas boom, became the epicenter for these claims after it was featured in a film called Gasland made by anti-fracking activists.

Among other things, Dimock residents were shown lighting their tap water on fire.

But the EPA has gone to Dimock, and conducted extensive testing, and you know what they found? No water contamination (via Bruce Oksol):

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said drinking water is safe to consume in a small Pennsylvania town that has attracted national attention after residents complained about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas.

The EPA has tested water at 61 homes in Dimock, Pennsylvania, where residents have complained since 2009 of cloudy, foul-smelling water after Cabot Oil & Gas Corp drilled for gas nearby.

“This set of sampling did not show levels of contaminants that would give EPA reason to take further action,” Roy Seneca, a spokesman for the regional EPA office, said about the final set of data released Friday. The agency released data for only 59 of the homes as they could not contact residents at two of them.

This outcome isn’t surprising. As earlier studies have shown, below roughly 1,000 feet the chance of unintentional cracking from hydraulic fracturing drops to less than 1%.

The average Marcellus shale drilling well ranges from 3,000 feet deep to 9,000 feet deep. In North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields, the best producing wells average 10,000 – 11,000 feet deep, with the minimum depth being around 9,000 feet.

According to the USGS, the average water well is about 1,000 feet deep.

The odds of fracking resulting in contaminated water are almost non-existent. Add in regular water quality screenings, and the chances of a community drinking contaminated water are astronomical.

Fracking is safe. The environmentalists just want you to believe otherwise.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • borborygmi

    Damn that is deep wells.. Love or hate oil you have to be impressed with the technology.

    • $8194357

      2 miles deep and 2 miles side ways…

      we were just learning the kick out slide with mud motors back in the day when i got out in the mid 80’s..
      Computor programs and bit improvements are light years ahead of then, now..
      old skool kool for us old roughnecks who played the game when men were made of iron and derricks of wood…joke ..joke..

  • $8194357

    Much like man made global warming, they will keep paying for research on taxpayers dime until they get the “outcome desired”…IMO…

  • mikemc1970

    When have facts ever factored in to the environmentalist thought process? We all know this is about instituting socialist controls over the energy sector not the environment.

  • Jay

    Ten years ago, these idiots told us it would take us ten years to see any benefit from drilling ANWR, offshore, et al. Now we have the potential for immediate results from fracking, and the same fucking morons are aiming at a different goal post and claiming we’re polluting the fucking ground water. STOP THE GODDAMN MADNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Broadway Joe

      Do you need to use profanity to make your point?  Is there two different types of ground water?

  • borborygmi

    “EPA Finds No Link Between Fracking And Water Contamination In Pennsylvania”
     The original headline looked like This ” EPA Finds No Link Betsdfojaoeriogjl;dflfjfpasf sdfa; ”
    Rob’s brain short circuited and his fingers cramped up because he had to write something positive about the EPA… first the USGS and now the EPA.. …Can he mentally and phyically keep it up.  Stay tuned folks….perhaps something good about the higher board of ed……

    • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

      So now rube and the nutter hoard will pound their breasts over this EPA report from the EPA they not so long ago despised. Typical.

      • Econwarrior

        Even a blind squirrel….
        The truth is that hydraulic fracturing probably benefits the water, so the EPA was unable to pull off another crucifixion this time.

    • sbark

      Its an election year……….EPA is tied to Obama at the hip===at this point they want to portray EPA as a kind and gentle Govt within the Govt.

      They trust that the USA citizens have a very short memory span.

      The Enviro’s will have another angle or tack against Oil, Bakken shortly after the election……or they have given up on that and are preping hard to stop development of the Utah Tar sands.

  • Wesley Fargo

    Think of this the next time you are out in the country, from the highway drive 2 miles south, then 2 miles west on the township road. Get out of your car throw a small rock as far as you can, (’bout 200 feet) that is pretty much the limit of current fracturing.

    Now, look to the horizon, to perhaps see trucks on the highway, 2 miles to your north. Think of all the solid rock between your thrown rock and the water supply 3-5 hundred feet into the field next to the ditch along the highway.  

    Remember rock is sedimentary, laid down and compressed in layers, with hills and valleys, over millions and millions of years.

     What would the likelihoods of a fissure to go from that rock clear to the water table? very slim to none!

  • Guest
  • 2hotel9

    Wwwhhhaaattttttt!!!!!!!!  EPA failed to prove that fracking went back in time and caused ground water contamination in the 1700s when people first settled the region Dimock resides in.

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, I say.

  • ellinas1

    One third of the wells tested have elevated methane levels.The EPA found traces of barium, arsenic, oil and manganese, which can be harmful even at low doses…..


    • 2hotel9

       All of which are in the ground water in that region NATURALLY, stupid c*nt.