The following is a Triple Divide chapter (w/ files) on natural gas drilling violations in Exceptional Value watersheds where fracking has occurred — fracking is a process of using water, sand, chemicals and pressure to opens cracks in deep shale layers […]
In 2006 — according to a ProPublica report — a residential drinking water well in Garfield County, Colo., spewed gas and polluted water into the air after a nearby gas well was hydraulically fractured. Tests detected a chemical called 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE), commonly used in hydraulic fracturing, in the drinking water well. The EPA never studied the case, and Colorado officials did not pursue an in-depth investigation before the gas company reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the homeowner that included nondisclosure agreements.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection (DEP) served a notice of four violations on the new dam, accusing PGE of violating its permit by building a stone dam instead of the approved sand-bag dam, designed to be temporary, and “polluting the Waters of the Commonwealth” by discharging harmful sediment into the Pine Creek, “a High Quality stream.”
On May 12, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent Pennsylvania DEP Secretary Michael Krancer a letter asking “Pennsylvania to do a better job sampling, monitoring and regulating Marcellus Shale wastewater discharges near public drinking water sources.” Specific requests from the EPA included using “stricter public drinking water standards” and enacting “legally enforceable wastewater disposal regulations instead of relying on voluntary actions.” Brine Treatment Corporation in Franklin County, Pa. has not stopped receiving Marcellus waste altogether but is now limiting the amount of Marcellus wastewater it accepts, treats, and discharges into waterways.