Again, this admission by industry is “stunning.”
Range and others studying the issue say the gas contamination more likely occurred because too many homes are tapping into shallow drinking water aquifers in the area. The company says that lowers water levels and hydrostatic pressure, allowing nearby natural gas to flow into the aquifer.
The Texas Water Development Board predicted that by 2010 33 percent—one in every three gallons—of Parker County water would go to natural gas development. Unlike water used for domestic and agricultural purposes, the water used for hydraulic fracturing is permanently removed from our hydrologic cycle. 33 percent is significant usage especially when that water is not returned to the aquifer.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Stan Scobie says
Of course industry blames methane contamination on the residents – it is always someone else's fault.
Just once I wish they would put on their science thinking caps and give us some real empirical evidence.
All they need to do is show that in areas with an increasing number of private wells and concomitant drops in water table, the percentage of methane contamination goes up.
I am a scientist, I know scientists, these people are not scientists.
Industry is pulling the same sort of hocus pocus up here in the northeast: "everyone has methane in their water wells – it is only natural."
When I reviewed the fairly good literature on the matter, I found that this was categorically JUST NOT TRUE.
Moreover, neither Professor Engelder, nor Professor Siegel, nor Dr. S. Cline, industry apologists, all of whom have made these goofy assertions, ever presented any systematic prevalence studies to support their assertions- not one.
Stanley R Scobie, Ph.D. Emeritus, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY