Well water in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas has been found to be contaminated due to nearby drilling. Over the last two years, locals near oil and gas drilling in each of the states have filed complaints of bad tasting well water. In response, the Associated Press took it upon themselves to conduct a study in these four states to uncover the severity of the pollution in each state.
Drilling for oil or natural gas to feed the country’s energy cravings happens on thousands of sites across the country each year. Aside from drilling for oil, fracking has also been the cause of complaints of polluted well water, as the process requires pumping thousands of gallons of water with drilling chemicals and heavy metals that eventually leak into an area’s groundwater.
In Pennsylvania, more than 106 cases of pollution into private water wells have been confirmed over the past five years, with 398 individual complaints of polluted well water in 2013, and 499 in 2012. The issue has become so serious in some areas, that one drilling company has faced a lawsuit by three affected families. Each were eventually awarded a $1.6 million settlement for the contamination of their water wells.
Ohio’s wells are far less affected, with complaints since 2010 hovering around 40-50 per year, and only two confirmed contaminations each year. Of West Virginia’s 122 complaints since 2009, only four were confirmed, requiring the drilling company to take action. Texas on the other hand has received 2,000 complaints with not a single confirmed case of contamination due to drilling.
The Associated Press hopes that by making the issues public, states that have chosen to ignore the issues will be forced to examine the effects of local drilling and take action.
Via Huffington Post