Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Texas Company’s Drilling in Pennsylvania Draws EPA Attention

Map by StateImpact Pennsylvania

StateImpact Pennsylvania's New Interactive Drilling App

A month after drawing a link between fracking and water contamination in Wyoming, the EPA has found arsenic, bar­ium and other “haz­ardous sub­stances” in the pri­vate water wells of four homes in Dimock, Susque­hanna County, our fellow StateImpacters in Pennsylvania report.

While the chemicals were not “definitively linked to recent gas drilling,” they write, the EPA says they do pose “a chronic health risk.” Now the EPA is going to truck in water to the four families. There’s quite a bit of background to the story, which you can read at StateImpact Pennsylvania. (They also have a fantastic interactive map of the many wells in the state.)

The company behind the well in question is Cabot Oil and Gas, which is based in Houston and has a major presence drilling the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.

In a separate case, a couple in Parker County, outside of Fort Worth, are currently suing a drilling company, Range Resources, for contaminating their water well. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that according to court documents filed in the suit, the couple maintains that “their well was infiltrated with methane as a result of improper casing and cementing of two of the company’s natural gas wells.”

More from the Star-Telegram:

Fort Worth-based Range maintains that its Butler and Teal wells, drilled more than a mile deep into the Barnett Shale, did not cause or contribute to contamination of the water well at Steve and Shyla Lipsky’s home in the upscale Silverado subdivision in far south Parker County. The well is about 200 feet deep and draws from the Trinity Aquifer.

The well was also the subject of an Environmental Protection Agency emergency order issued against Range 13 months ago. Range is also fighting the EPA order in federal court.

For an extensive look at how drilling and fracking have been linked to water contamination, read this explainer at StateImpact Pennsylvania.


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