Sunday Times review of DEP drilling records reveals water damage, murky testing methods – News – The Times-Tribune

Sunday Times review of DEP drilling records reveals water damage, murky testing methods – News – The Times-Tribune.

First of two parts

State environmental regulators determined that oil and gas development damaged the water supplies for at least 161 Pennsylvania homes, farms, churches and businesses between 2008 and the fall of 2012, according to a cache of nearly 1,000 letters and enforcement orders written by Department of Environmental Protection officials and obtained by The Sunday Times.

The determination letters are sent to water supply owners who ask state inspectors to investigate whether oil and gas drilling activities have polluted or diminished the flow of water to their wells.

Interactive Map:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/gas-drilling-complaints-map-1.1490926

Inspectors declared the vast majority of complaints – 77 percent of 969 records – unfounded, lacking enough evidence to tie them definitively to drilling or caused by a different source than oil and gas exploration, like legacy pollution, natural conditions or mining.

One in six investigations across the roughly five-year period – 17 percent of the records – found that oil and gas activity disrupted water supplies either temporarily or seriously enough to require companies to replace the spoiled source.

The letters confirming contamination or water loss from drilling and the orders that require companies to fix the damage provide what is likely the best official count of the industry’s impact on individual water supplies in Pennsylvania because the state does not track the disruptions.

The Sunday Times requested the records in late 2011, and received access to them late last year after a state appeals court ruled that the DEP had to release the documents regardless of whether it was hard for the agency to find them in its files.

While the records compiled by the newspaper offer a more complete tally of the number of affected properties than was previously available, the count is not exhaustive:

PA DEP Determination Letters – damascus citizens for sustainability

PA DEP Determination Letters – damascus citizens for sustainability.

“The Department investigation indicates that gas well drilling has impacted your water supply.”

Despite the oft-repeated gas industry canard that there are no confirmed cases of fracking contaminating water supplies, the following Determination Letters from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection clearly state  that “gas well drilling” has contaminated wells in Bradford County, in municipalities such as Granville, Tuscarora, Terry, Orwell, Wilmot and Monroe Townships, and in Alba Boro.

The letters posted so far were obtained by Right to Know requests to the PA DEP filed by Vera Scroggins of “Citizens for Clean Water” located in Susquehanna County.

Painted Post Water Export Case and Hydrological Concerns

Export_GW_NY_PA+Sierra_Club Miller

Painted Post Water Export Case and Hydrological Concerns

PowerPoint presentation to Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County, May 5, 2017 by Todd Miller, Ph.D., USGS emeritus

 

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Caltex Energy Inc. Hydraulic Fracturing Incident 16-27-068-10W6M September 22, 2011 ERCB Investigation Report (Released: December 20, 2012)

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EARTHWORKS | EPA Gets Access To Wells For Fracking Study

EARTHWORKS | EPA Gets Access To Wells For Fracking Study.

List of the Harmed | Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air

List of the Harmed | Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air.

EPA -Range Resources – Jim Weiss CS 1/21/13

weiss-lte-1-21-13

“FROM THE FRONTLINES” Carol French, Bradford Co, PA – YouTube

“FROM THE FRONTLINES” Carol French, Bradford Co, PA – YouTube.

Leaked fracking fluid contaminated groundwater near Grande Prairie: ERCB

Leaked fracking fluid contaminated groundwater near Grande Prairie: ERCB.