AP: Natural Gas Drilling: 80 Chemicals Possibly Contaminating Water Systems

Photo: Hey Paul
Photo: Hey Paul
More than two years after the start of a natural gas drilling boom, Pennsylvania is making public a complete list of the chemicals used to extract the gas from deep underground amid rising public fears of potential water contamination and increased scrutiny of the fast-growing industry.

It counts more than 80 chemicals being used by the industry in a process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as it pursues the gas in the mile-deep shale. The mixture of chemicals breaks up the shale some 5,000 to 8,000 feet down and props open the cracks to allow the gas trapped inside to flow up the well to the surface.

Some of the chemicals being used are associated with neurological problems, cancer and other serious health effects, although state and industry officials say there is no evidence that the activity is polluting drinking water.

Environmental advocates, however, worry the chemicals are poisoning underground drinking water sources.

READ THIS STORY AT HUFFINGTONPOST.COM

Photo: Hey Paul
Photo: Hey Paul
More than two years after the start of a natural gas drilling boom, Pennsylvania is making public a complete list of the chemicals used to extract the gas from deep underground amid rising public fears of potential water contamination and increased scrutiny of the fast-growing industry.

It counts more than 80 chemicals being used by the industry in a process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as it pursues the gas in the mile-deep shale. The mixture of chemicals breaks up the shale some 5,000 to 8,000 feet down and props open the cracks to allow the gas trapped inside to flow up the well to the surface.

Some of the chemicals being used are associated with neurological problems, cancer and other serious health effects, although state and industry officials say there is no evidence that the activity is polluting drinking water.

Environmental advocates, however, worry the chemicals are poisoning underground drinking water sources.

READ THIS STORY AT HUFFINGTONPOST.COM

Niamh Marnell

Niamh Marnell

Niamh Marnell earned a master's degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago where she examined organizations and power from the perspective of political science and sociology. You can follow her at http://twitter.com/NiamhMarnell.

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