This happened on a farm in the Marcellus Shale. A previous post about this that links to some pictures is here.
Pennsylvania Landowner Blames Energy Drilling for Water Pollution
This report is by Jon Hurdle who is a Reuters reporter.
PERFECT BASELINE TESTS
Baseline tests on Zimmermann’s water a year before drilling began were “perfect,” he said. In June, water tests found arsenic at 2,600 times acceptable levels, benzene at 44 times above limits and naphthalene five times the federal standard.
Soil samples detected mercury and selenium above official limits, as well as ethylbenzene, a chemical used in drilling, and trichloroethene, a naturally occurring but toxic chemical that can be brought to the surface by gas drilling.
The chemicals can cause many serious illnesses including damage to the immune, nervous and respiratory systems, according to the Endocrine Disruption Exchange, a researcher of the health effects of chemicals used in drilling.
The landowner has filed a lawsuit against the drillers.
People in rural areas are most vulnerable to the ill affects of drilling and it’s in the rural areas where we have the most difficulty getting any media coverage.
Rural residents who live near gas drilling say their water has become discolored, foul-smelling, or even flammable because methane from disturbed gas deposits has migrated into water wells.
DEATHS, MUTATION OF LIVESTOCK
Farmers in southwest Pennsylvania blame cattle deaths and mutations on local fracking. Other complaints attributed to tainted water include children’s sickness, skin rashes and neurological disorders.
The industry says the chemicals used in fracking are injected through layers of steel and concrete thousands of feet below aquifers, and so pose no threat to drinking water. Spokesman argue there has never been a documented case of water contamination as a result of fracking.
The owner expresses the same sentiment that so many living near drilling do:
Another report in a PA paper is not nearly as thorough:
Cow deaths have couple questioning water quality
The landowner who did not own any mineral rights bought a freezer to keep the carcasses of dead and deformed animals. He’s not the first to keep animal carcasses in the freezer. Lisa Bracken has a freezer full of animals that have succumbed to exposure to drilling toxins.
I bet we’ll be seeing more of these stories. I’ve heard stories of Texas cattle but the drillers scoot in there and pay owners hush money so it never makes the papers.