Hydraulic fracking tied to groundwater pollution
December 9, 2011
Denver — Hydraulic fracturing, a controversial oil-and-gas production technique used in Colorado and across the country, has been linked for the first time to groundwater pollution in a case near Pavillion, Wyo.
The finding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday set off calls for tighter rules on the so- called fracking process, which pumps fluid into wells under pressure to fracture rock and release oil and gas.
“This could be a game changer,” said Frank Smith, an organizer with the Western Colorado Congress, an environmental group.
Wyoming and Colorado officials said the EPA data should first be carefully reviewed.
Warning that the EPA study could have “a critical impact on the energy industry and the country,” Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said more research has to be done.
David Neslin, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, said the Pavillion results will be reviewed, adding that Colorado has rules to protect ground and surface water.
But Smith countered: “Colorado shouldn’t be so cavalier and overconfident about its rules. There is a lesson to be learned here.”
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