Report May Have "Overstated" High Bromide Levels

  • Scott Detrow

Scott Detrow/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

A Bradford County drilling rig


A state-funded study released last month may have “overstated incidents of elevated bromide levels in water wells near gas drilling sites.”
More from the Post-Gazette:

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, an agency created by the General Assembly, added a note to the online version of its report earlier this week.
The center’s review of water-well quality before and after Marcellus Shale drilling found only one case with an increase in bromide, not seven incidents as originally reported, stated the note. The brief explanation from Penn State University researchers who conducted the study attributed the mistake to “a lab error.”

The study involved sampling water from 233 wells across the state during 2010 and 2011, comparing the quality of samples from wells near heavy drilling to those far from the industry’s activities.
The results showed no significant increases in methane levels, but citing the now-refuted bromide spikes, suggested widening the required distance for notifying nearby landowners about drilling and presuming that a driller is liable for contamination up to 3,000 feet from a wellpad. That distance currently is 1,000 feet.

A revised report could be issued within the next few weeks.

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