Fracking Chemicals Could Hit Drinking Water More Quickly Than Thought - As Interior Mulls Letting Companies Disclose Them After the Fact

Two really rather disturbing bits of fracking news:

Under an Interior Department draft rule fracking companies would be able to drill and then afterwards disclose what chemicals they use, Business Week reports. A previous version of the rule made more sense, but received objections from natural gas companies—they would've had to disclose the chemicals they'd be using 30 days prior to actually using them.

Of course the reason that disclosing what chemicals are being used in a particular hydraulic fracturing operations is made only more clear by a new piece in ProPublica.

Looking at the Marcellus Shale, underlying parts of New York and Pennsylvania, hydrologist Tom Myers (who also recently reviewed the EPA's finding about groundwater contamination in Wyoming) found that fracking chemicals can migrate into drinking water supplies much more quickly than previously believed.

Myers, using computer modeling, concludes "that natural faults and fractures in the Marcellus, exacerbated by the effects of fracking itself, could allow chemicals to reach the surface in as little as 'just a few years'."


The study also conclude that the force that fracking exerts does not immediately let up when the process ends. It can take nearly a year to ease. As a result, chemicals left underground are still being pushed away from the drill site long after drilling is finished. It can take five or six years before the natural balance of pressure in the underground system is fully restored.

This study was funded by groups opposed to fracking, and perhaps needless to say that the scientist ProPublica quotes as finding fault with Myers' work is pro-fracking.

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