A new report by state regulators found hydraulic fracturing likely did not cause problems with drinking water in Pavillion, Wy.
The multi-year investigation by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) found the “Evidence does not indicate that hydraulic fracturing fluids have risen to shallow depths utilized by water-supply wells.”
“Also, based on an evaluation of hydraulic fracturing history, and methods used in the Pavillion Gas Field, it is unlikely that hydraulic fracturing has caused any impacts to the water-supply wells,” WDEQ investigators reported Thursday.
Complaints of a bad taste and odor in the water by Pavillion residents has been used by environmentalists as evidence fracking posed a danger to drinking water across the country. Fracking involves injecting water, sand and some chemicals deep underground to break open shale to extract oil and natural gas.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state regulators began investigating Pavillion’s water problems in 2009, and EPA issued a preliminary report in 2011 that fracking may have harmed the town’s drinking water. Activists used the report to label fracking as dangerous.
Pavillion was featured heavily in the anti-fracking film “Gasland.” The film profiled John Fenton, a rancher from Pavillion, who claims his water was contaminated by nearby fracking operations.
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