Is Fracking behind Contamination in Wyoming Groundwater?

Scientific American 4 October 2012
By Jeff Tollefson of Nature magazine

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sparked a firestorm in December last year when it released a draft report suggesting that the use of hydraulic fracturing — or ‘fracking’ — to extract natural gas had contaminated groundwater near Pavillion, Wyoming. Industry officials have long denied that fracking affects groundwater, and Pavillion has become the first high-profile test of this claim. On 26 September, the US Geological Survey (USGS) released data showing the presence of groundwater contamination in the region. Although the data would seem to support the EPA’s assessment — as does an independent analysis released by environmental groups this week — the survey did not seek to determine the source of the contamination. Nature examines the on-going debate and how it relates to broader questions about groundwater contamination from fracking across the United States…

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