Monday, June 24, 2013

Study: Fracking is Affecting Some Water Quality

Update: Here's an AP story.
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Due to an embargo break (which tells you someone thinks this is a hot story), PNAS just lifted the embargo on the paper “Increased stray gas abundance in a subset of drinking water wells near Marcellus shale gas extraction,” by Robert B. Jackson of Duke University, et al.

They looked at water wells within 1 kilometer of trhe Marcellus shale gas wells in northeastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York, and found that
"...82% of the wells analyzed contained methane; on average, methane concentrations were 6-times higher for homes located less than 1 km from drilling sites than for homes farther away. Concentrations of ethane and propane were also higher for homes located within 1 km of drilling sites. Furthermore, the authors found that distance to gas wells was the most significant factor to influence drinking water methane and ethane concentrations. In some cases, the chemical signature of the gases in drinking water was characteristic of a Marcellus-like source, according to the authors."
From the article:

It will be interesting to see how this plays out....

4 comments:

William Connolley said...

Interesting. My first thought was "yes, but methane isn't toxic". The AP story addresses that, and adds "There was some good news, Jackson said: The Duke researchers haven't found any evidence that chemicals from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have contaminated water wells."

Doc Syntax said...

Hmmm, hot story... does this "hot story" look like this one over two years ago?
http://today.duke.edu/2011/05/hydrofracking

All tribal pettiness aside, I honestly wonder why the EPA and the DoI use this information in any of their reports over the past two years.

Jay Alt said...

Pettiness sounds on target to me. EPA would use the information since it was been peer-reviewed and published. That would give it alot more weight than the misleading claims coming from drilling firms denying they had anything to do with the fouling of drinking water.

Not toxic? Oh, hurrah! The problem is they can't drink it. At least w/o explosion risk.

Doc Syntax said...

"Not toxic? Oh, hurrah! The problem is they can't drink it. At least w/o explosion risk."

Huh? What explosive risk? What methane concentration did you see?