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Published on Aug 08, 2011 by Edgar Snyder

Fracking: Could History Be Warning Us?

Marcellus Shale drilling

There has been some big news on the fracking front. As you probably are aware, Marcellus Shale drilling and hydraulic fracking (the process used to release the gas trapped deep underground) have been controversial issues for quite some time.

Economists and political officials see a great source of revenue, while environmentalists are worried about the impact it will have on nature and our drinking water. Some support it, while others believe fracking poses major health risks for the general public – specifically contaminated ground water. However, there hadn't been tangible proof linking the fracking process with groundwater contamination.

Now it seems some evidence has surfaced, thanks to a report by the Environmental Working Group from 1987. The report talks about an instance of hydraulic fracturing from 1982 in Jackson County, West Virginia. The Kaiser Gas Company owned several abandoned gas wells that may have contaminated water wells on two adjacent properties owned by local families.

What's even scarier is that there were similarities between the 1982 incident and a second shale gas well in Jackson County that allegedly contaminated two water wells in 2006.

This news goes to show how much we have left to learn about Marcellus Shale drilling and the risks we all need to consider when deciding our future. Contaminated groundwater may pose serious health issues – including cancer, reproductive effects, and damage to organ systems – but little is actually known about the long-term effects of drinking it.

Fracking technology has improved since 1982, with more attention paid to safety, but it's important to know for sure how much our health is at risk.

We've been following Marcellus Shale news for quite some time, so you can read more at EdgarSnyder.com.

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