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NEWS: New study claims no link between fracking and groundwater contamination

Postmedia News reports that a study released at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science yesterday in Vancouver found “no direct connection” between fracking and groundwater contamination.

The report was funded by the Energy Institute at the University of Texas.

“It is more likely the flammable water, reported by some people living near some U.S. fracking operations, is linked to ground spills and problems that are not unique to the process also known as hydraulic fracturing, says Chip Groat (who led the study). …He and his colleagues could find no link between the flammable tap water and the fracking process going on thousands of metres underground.”

“Their study, which looked at areas where fracking has taken place in Texas, Pennsylvania and New York, found that the groundwater contamination often can be traced to above-ground spills or mishandling of wastewater associated with the gas extraction process.”

“Groat says groundwater contamination in some areas probably can be traced to natural sources that were present before the onset of shale gas operations. But the lack of data on what the groundwater was like before fracking operations started ‘hobbles’ efforts to evaluate the impacts.”

The article does add that Simon Fraser University geologist John Claque, who is also speaking at the conference, sees “possible water contamination” as an issue. “My advice is to focus to the risks to drinking water and the greenhouse gas implications of fracking.”

To see the Council of Canadians campaign web-page against fracking, please go to http://canadians.org/fracking.