Gas Industry Admits Water Contamination in Pennsylvania, Drillers Told To Stop Fracking Wastewater Delivery To POTWs

Tue, 2011-04-19 16:49Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Gas Industry Admits Water Contamination in Pennsylvania, Drillers Told To Stop Fracking Wastewater Delivery To POTWs

Photo credit: David Turnbull

Pennsylvania news outlets reported two major developments in the controversy over fracking and unconventional gas today. The president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition has admitted publicly that fracking has contaminated local drinking water supplies in Pennsylvania.

And PA governor Tom Corbett has ordered gas drillers to stop taking fracking wastewater to public water treatment facilities (POTWs).

Carnegie Mellon University Professor Jeanne VanBreisen was first to discover high levels of bromides in drinking water sourced from rivers that have received treated fracking wastewater. Bromide is a salt also found in drilling wastewater from fracking operations.

The news is extra worrisome because bromides, when combined with chlorine at water treatment plants, can create bromates trihalomethanes, which are linked to bladder cancer, miscarriage and still births.

As a result of this shocking discovery, today the Pennsivania Department of Environmental Protection ordered Marcellus Shale gas drillers to stop trucking wastewater to 15 treatment plants in the state.

The industry’s admission that dirty gas fracking is causing drinking water contamination is long overdue, and welcomed.  Now the state of Pennsylvania has every reason to place an immediate halt on fracking operations until the gas industry is held accountable for its damage to the state’s water supply. This troubling news is yet another reason why fracking for unconventional gas needs to be banned nationwide until the gas industry can prove it isn’t causing damage to public health, water supplies and the global climate.

Photo credit: David Turnbull

Comments

With the release of Gasland, awareness of fracking dangers is starting to register. There is a Texas Progressive Blogger who has assembled information for years and collates RSS news on fracking : BlueDaze.
More at my Topical Index > Water - Wealth & Power at the Blogger site : http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com

nice post.

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New York's highest state court ruled today that local governments have the legal authority to use zoning to bar oil and gas drilling, fracking and other heavy industrial sites within their borders. In a 5-2 decision, affirming the rulings of three lower courts, the justices dismissed challenges to fracking bans created by two towns, Middlefield and Dryden.

The case has been closely watched by the oil and gas industry in the Marcellus region and nationwide. Over 170 towns, villages and cities...

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