Two reports back position that hydraulic fracturing can impact groundwater resources

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From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Colson) via The Durango Herald:

Both reports were prepared by independent hydrologist Tom Myers, Ph.D., of Reno, Nev., whose clients include government agencies and environmental groups. One report, issued April 30, summed up Myers’ assessment of the Environmental Protection Agency’s investigation into water-well contamination in 2010 and 2011 in the area around Pavillion, Wyo., a region of extensive natural-gas drilling activity…

A second report, commissioned by the National Ground Water Association, concludes that chemicals used in the fracking process would migrate upward toward drinking supplies much more quickly than earlier believed. The association is a nonprofit group that represents scientists, engineers and businesses in the groundwater industry.

The study, published in the April-May edition of the journal Ground Water, concludes that scientists incorrectly have theorized that rock layers between the deep gas-bearing zones and the shallower aquifer zones are essentially “impermeable” and protect against migration of chemicals from one zone to the other. Myers wrote in his report that, based on computer modeling, natural faults and fractures permeate the Marcellus Shale formation that lies under large parts of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and nearby states. When human-made fractures intersect with the natural fault lines, Myers theorized, “contaminants could reach the surface areas in 10 years or less.”

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