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30th June 2015
EDITOR
STUDIES LINK FRACKING TO POLLUTED DRINKING WATER SUPPLIES, EARTHQUAKES

A new study in Science & Technology found that drinking water wells in Texas counties with active fracking operations had higher levels of over two dozen metals and chemicals, including carcinogens.

The study, one of the largest independent research projects of water quality near fracking sites, tested samples from 550 wells across the Barnett Shale in Texas. The chemicals and some of the metals are commonly found in fracking fluid and water that comes up the well with natural gas. However the authors state that the findings do not conclusively identify fracking as the direct source of contamination, though there is a correlation. In counties where there is more fracking, the chemical contamination is worse. Fracking pollutes aquifers in general, and the contamination of waterways with fracking chemicals and metals may ultimately
prove harmful to fish species.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a study recently linked the spike in earthquakes in that state to the injection of fracking wastewater into underground wells. The study comes from Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences. In 2014 the state experienced 24 earthquakes of a magnitude of 4 or more, while pre-2008 the state generally suffered one or two earthquakes of the kind. As a result of the study, the Oklahoma Geological
Survey issued a statement that it was “very likely” the recent earthquakes in the state are caused by the injection of produced water into disposal wells.

For more information see the 19 June Inside Climate Newsarticle on fracking’s
relationship to drinking water,
insideclimatenews.org/news/19062015/near-fracking-center-drinking-water-has-more-chemicals-and-carcinogens-barnett-shale-texas-epa-oil-gas

and this 18 June Science Daily article discussing the increase in earthquakes.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150618145809.htm

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