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Duke University Assessment : Fracking is not affecting groundwater

the bottom-line assessment is that groundwater is so far not being impacted.

Even though EPA’s ( Environmental Protection Agency) administrator Lisa Jackson reports that fracking can be “ok”, some environmentalist and activist still insist that “fracking” contaminate the under water preserves. Now another study conducted by Duke University in Durham NC, USA, reports that fracking, despite what environmentalists claims, has no way or direct effect on the quality of the ground water. However the study did showed also that the surface soil may be impacted due to oil spills :

Fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, but accidental spills of fracking wastewater may pose a threat to surface water in the region, according to a new study led by scientists at Duke University.

“Based on consistent evidence from comprehensive testing, we found no indication of groundwater contamination over the three-year course of our study,” said Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. ”However, we did find that spill water associated with fracked wells and their wastewater has an impact on the quality of streams in areas of intense shale gas development.”

“The bottom-line assessment,” he said, “is that groundwater is so far not being impacted, but surface water is more readily contaminated because of the frequency of spills.”


The Duke team collaborated with researchers from The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University and the French Geological Survey to sample water from 112 drinking wells in northwestern West Virginia over a three-year period.

Twenty of the water wells were sampled before drilling or fracking began in the region, to provide a baseline for later comparisons.

Samples were tested for an extensive list of contaminants, including salts, trace metals and hydrocarbons such as methane, propane and ethane. Each sample was systematically analyzed using a broad suite of geochemical and isotopic forensic tracers that allowed the researchers to determine if contaminants and salts in the water stemmed from nearby shale gas operations, from other human sources, or were naturally occurring.

The study, which is three years in the making can be read here.This is not only the first study that has been conducted by several agencies and universities in the years passed. In fact, EPA has also a year long study of pollution of water supplies which is a separate issue and has backed off after verifying safety of water in PA that had long been in the forefront. Reconsidering evidence in a claimed water pollution in Wyoming.
Fracking presents “an historic opportunity” for the energy industry in the United States in terms of energy development and job creation, Fox News added that the Chamber of Commerce projected this industry will create 3.5 million jobs by 2035.

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