Land & Water Contamination

There are a number of ways in which toxic fracking fluids can contaminate water and land. These include underground well casing failure, surface leaks and spills, well blowouts, methane escape from well bore to groundwater and the long term migration of contaminants underground.

Shale contamination



The most recent confirmation of large scale contamination is in the USA. Regulators at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection confirmed 243 cases of contamination of private drinking wells from oil and gas drilling operations.

A summary of the findings can be read HERE

The determination from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection can be read HERE


New Mexico


In New Mexico, state records show 743 instances of oil and gas operations polluting groundwater:

Read more HERE


Water Pollution 1Wyoming


In Wyoming, the US Environmental Protection Agency conducted a series of drilling and sampling tests with the aim of determining whether water contamination had occurred as a result of fracking operations.

Four rounds of drilling revealed oil, methane, arsenic and metals including copper and vanadium. Butoxyethanol phosphate, a compound linked to materials used in fracking was also discovered.

The deep-well tests showed benzene, at 50 times the level that is considered safe for people, as well as phenols — another dangerous human carcinogen — acetone, toluene, naphthalene and traces of diesel fuel, which seemed to show that man-made pollutants had found their way deep into the cracks of the earth. In all, EPA detected 13 different compounds in the deep aquifer that it said were often used with hydraulic fracturing processes,

A full copy of the study can be found HERE





In California, ​the oil and gas industry illegally injected about 3 billion gallons of fracking wastewater into central California drinking-water and farm-irrigation aquifers, the state found after the US Environmental Protection Agency ordered a review of possible contamination. Read more HERE


fracking-contamination-diagram_mainBorehole Contamination


A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the closer someone lives to a used to hydraulically fracture underground shale for natural gas, the more likely it is that your drinking water is contaminated with methane.

The study, authored by a chemical engineer at Duke University, found methane in 115 of 141 shallow, residential drinking-water wells. The methane concentration in homes less than one mile from a fracking well was six times higher than the concentration in homes farther away. Isotopes and traces of ethane in the methane indicated that the gas was not created by microorganisms living in groundwater but by heat and pressure thousands of feet down in the Marcellus Shale, which is where companies fracture rock to release gas that rises up a well shaft.

A full copy of the study can be found HERE



Researchers at the University of Texas found that levels of arsenic, selenium and strontium were higher than Environmental Protection Agency limits in some private wells located within about 1.8 miles of natural gas wells.

Read the report HERE

This is by no means an exchaustive list, there are hundreds of other well-recorded incidents as well as ongoing legal disputes with oil and gas companies. Many cases are also settled out of court by the oil and gas industry, with a gagging order placed upon the claimaint as part of the settlement.

In Washington County, Pennsylvania drilling company Range Resources not only gagged the claimants, Chris and Stephanie Hallowich, but also their children aged 7 and 10. For life.

Read more HERE

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