US gas industry wins small victory in fracking debate

By Conway Irwin 20 March 2012 9:05 GMT
A Range Resources operation in Pennsylvania, one of the companies using fracking to extract gas from wells in the Marcellus shale. (PA) A Range Resources operation in Pennsylvania, one of the companies using fracking to extract gas from wells in the Marcellus shale. (PA)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) preliminary finding that drinking water in Dimock County, Pennsylvania, is not contaminated is a small victory in the oil and gas industry’s fight to build confidence in safe shale development.

A first round of water well testing at 11 homes in Dimock County, Pennsylvania “did not show levels of contamination that could present a health concern”, EPA spokesman Roy Seneca said in a statement.  “Samples from six of the 11 homes did show concentrations of sodium, methane, chromium or bacteria, but concentrations were all within the safe range for drinking water.”