Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Wyoming aquifer, EPA finds a fracking chemical

Two wells drilled by the Environmental Protection Agency into a Wyoming aquifer "where residents have long complained that drilling fouled their water . . . contain high levels of cancer-causing compounds and at least one chemical commonly used in hydraulic fracturing," Abrahm Lustgarten reports for ProPublica, the independent investigative news operation that has won prizes for its reports on fracking.

EPA "did not interpret the findings or make any attempt to identify the source of the pollution," Lustgarten reports, adding that the agency "has been careful to consider all possible causes of the contamination [of water wells]  and to distance its inquiry from the controversy around hydraulic fracturing. Still, the chemical compounds the EPA detected are consistent with those produced from drilling processes, including one -- a solvent called 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) -- widely used in the process of hydraulic fracturing." (Read more)

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