WASHINGTON, DC — “Methane in two Pennsylvania water wells has a chemical fingerprint that links it to natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing, evidence that such drilling can pollute drinking water.
The data, collected by the Environmental Protection Agency, are significant because the composition of the gas — its isotopic signature — falls into a range Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. had identified as that of the Marcellus Shale, which it tapped through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
…Cabot maintains that its operations haven’t contaminated homeowners’ wells, and its scientists say further analysis shows this gas isn’t from the Marcellus, a mile-deep formation running from New York to the southwestern tip of Virginia. Industry groups say there hasn’t been proof of fracking contaminating water anywhere, and the dispute research that suggests pumping millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals underground to break apart rock and free trapped gas endangers the environment.
The question of the provenance of the gas in the northeastern Pennsylvania town has taken on national importance after tainted wells there were featured in the film ‘Gasland.’ Last year, the EPA stepped in to test the water, one of only a few cases nationwide in which the federal agency intervened in a dispute over fracking and water woes.”
— Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bloomberg News