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Duke University Study: Fracking Isn't Contaminating Ground Water

We have another study from Duke University that shows groundwater isn’t being polluted by fracking, despite the cries from the environmentalists that the process, which is used to tap into natural gas resources. It’s been the crux of their narrative against this sector of the economy that’s rapidly growing throughout the country. The study was three years in the making, peer reviewed, and was recently published in the European journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. They did say that surface water might be impacted due to spills:

Fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, but accidental spills of fracking wastewater may pose a threat to surface water in the region, according to a new study led by scientists at Duke University.

“Based on consistent evidence from comprehensive testing, we found no indication of groundwater contamination over the three-year course of our study,” said Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. ”However, we did find that spill water associated with fracked wells and their wastewater has an impact on the quality of streams in areas of intense shale gas development.”

“The bottom-line assessment,” he said, “is that groundwater is so far not being impacted, but surface water is more readily contaminated because of the frequency of spills.”


The Duke team collaborated with researchers from The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University and the French Geological Survey to sample water from 112 drinking wells in northwestern West Virginia over a three-year period.

Twenty of the water wells were sampled before drilling or fracking began in the region, to provide a baseline for later comparisons.

Samples were tested for an extensive list of contaminants, including salts, trace metals and hydrocarbons such as methane, propane and ethane. Each sample was systematically analyzed using a broad suite of geochemical and isotopic forensic tracers that allowed the researchers to determine if contaminants and salts in the water stemmed from nearby shale gas operations, from other human sources, or were naturally occurring.


Fox News added that the Chamber of Commerce projected this industry will create 3.5 million jobs by 2035. Still, this isn’t the first study that shows fracking does zilch to groundwater. The Environmental Protection Agency’s own 2012 review of the drinking water in Dimock, PA, which served as ground zero for the anti-fracking hysteria, noted that the homes that were supposedly impacted did not have unsafe drinking water flowing through them. Oh, and if the greens want to harp on surface water, they should just take a seat. Remember when the EPA dumped 3 million gallons of toxic water into Colorado’s river systems in 2015? I do. The clean up costs were projected to soar into the hundreds of millions, and it was completely avoidable. The toxic water was from the Gold King Mine, which had been abandoned for a decade. The EPA’s clean up crew royally screwed up and released the water into the Animas River, which connects to the San Juan River. It eventually connects into the larger Colorado River. It turned some portions of the Animas River orange. By fall of 2015, the projections for the cleanup soared into the billions. Also, need I remind the Left that their camp that was set up to take a stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which was over water contamination concerns, actually posed a threat to the nearby waterways…because of all the garbage they left behind? Yeah, that happened.


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