Studies Find Methane in Pa. Drinking Water

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One researcher who now consults for oil and gas companies and other clients questioned some of the Duke findings.

Fred Baldassare, who worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for 25 years, said the study doesn’t present an accurate picture of the whole state because the Duke team went to areas where residents had complained about drilling contamination, rather than doing a random sample. Baldassare runs a research company called Eschelon Applied Geosciences.

Baldassare said that overall the Duke researchers “make a case for stray gas migration caused by gas well drilling activity.”

The second water study was published online last week by the U.S. Geological Survey. It found that some Pennsylvania water wells in areas with no nearby drilling are naturally contaminated with high levels of methane. It also found that 85 percent of the samples had radon levels higher than federal safe limits.

One well sample, taken at a hunting club, had such high natural methane levels, it could have been flammable, said hydrologist Ronald Sloto.

“They knew they had a major water quality problem, they didn’t know what it was,” Sloto said.

The USGS took samples from 20 wells in Sullivan County, in northeastern Pennsylvania, in order to establish a pre-drilling baseline for water quality.

Sloto said his study and the Duke paper confirm that pre-drilling water testing is an absolute necessity for homeowners.

“Once you have drilling you can’t get a baseline, it’s too late” to determine if drilling caused water problems or if they were already there naturally, Sloto said.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, had no direct comment on the Duke findings.

“Private water well quality and construction, as well as methane migration, is a longstanding public health issue in Pennsylvania, dating back decades,” CEO Kathryn Klaber said in an email.

(Photo: AP)

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2 thoughts on “Studies Find Methane in Pa. Drinking Water

  1. The contamination is worse than they’re saying. Right now corporations control gov’t and they’re getting their profits. Not until people start dropping like fleas and it becomes too large an issue to ignore will it become apparent. Of course, once many turn on the water tap near the stove in the kitchen and the contaminants explode and burn down the house will it become truly apparent. At the time the masses of peopl are ready to actually open up their mouths about it, the drones will come shoot them or they will be too sick to say much.
    The people involved don’t hear from us, the people at all. I call Gov Cuomo a few times however the companys, the elected officials, the cops need to be inundated with calls day in and day out and their email system needs to shut down from so many incoming emails. They need to be harassed in a decent manner mind you, at every turn they take. They must not be able to enjoy themselves, not eat, not shop, not live in peace until they understand where were coming from. The media is owned by their corporate buddies so its essential that you just bombard them DAILY with expressed anger and outrage to the point where they can’t take hearing about it anymore.

  2. Isaiah. although Steve`s blurb is flabbergasting, I just got a great BMW from earning $8845 this-last/4 weeks an would you believe 10 grand last-month. this is definitely the most-comfortable job I’ve ever had. I actually started four months/ago and almost immediately startad bringin home at least $84… per hour. I work through this website……

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