Is Fracking (The Controversial Method of Improving the Productivity of Oil and Gas Wells) Safe When Considering Ground Water and Pollution?
As my law practice requires me to travel throughout much of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, particularly in areas where fracking is now taking place on an increasing basis, I have always been concerned about its effect on ground water pollution. Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency implicated fracking (the controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells) as a potential culprit of environmental issues. This finding has a chilling effect on inhabitants of areas where fracking continues to occur on an increasing basis.
Fracking involves hydraulic fracturing caused by the pumping of pressurized water, sand, and chemicals underground to open fissures to improve the flow of oil and gas. The EPA announced on Thursday, December 8, 2011 that wells of a Wyoming community contained hydrocarbons, which were compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals in ground water. Residents had complained their well water reeks of chemicals. The EPA announcement may have major implications for the vast increase in gas and oil drilling in Pennsylvania as well as many other locales in the U.S. where fracking is taking place. Although fracking has played a large role in opening up many oil and gas reserves, and the industry has long stated that fracking is safe, environmentalists and residents claim that ground water is being poisoned.
At the consumer safety law firm of Reiff and Bily, we will continue to closely monitor and investigate developments on the implication of fracking and the safety of ground water for residents in communities involved.