Global environmental challenges
The announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration that it has found chemical contaminants in domestic well water near natural gas-drilling rigs raises more questions about the safety of a method of gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing. For a story, click here.)
The EPA’s finding, based on tests in rural Pavillion, Wyoming, marks the first time the federal agency has tested water in response to growing complaints from around the U.S. that gas drilling is polluting groundwater with toxic substances.
Canadian energy giant EnCana, which operates almost 250 gas rigs in the area, notes that the industry is just one possible source of the contamination, a point echoed by the EPA itself, which has been at pains to point out that it has reached no conclusion about the source of the chemicals.
The agency will conduct more tests to determine how the substances got into 11 of 39 wells tested during March and May this year.