Fracking Contamination Report Kept Hidden for 24 Years

Monday, August 08, 2011
(photo: GasLand)
If something is repeated enough times by enough people, it can take on the status of fact. That is until the truth is revealed.
For the controversial drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” in which chemically-laced water is injected deep into the earth to free up natural gas, industry spokesman and even federal environmental officials have repeated the same line over and over again: no evidence exists of fracking ever having contaminated underground water supplies.
Well, now there is. And it’s not new.
The New York Times reports that in 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency produced a report that concluded hydraulic fracturing by the Kaiser Exploration and Mining Company contaminated a well on private property about 600 feet away in Jackson County, West Virginia.
The report only now came to light because it’s been sealed under court order as part of litigation that settled the case decades ago. The author of the report says she doesn’t understand why, three decades later, the details of her findings can’t be released.
“I still don’t understand why industry should be allowed to hide problems when public safety is at stake,” Carla Greathouse told The New York Times. “If it’s so safe, let the public review all the cases.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
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