"Fracking Wells Blamed for Polluted Water; Inspectors Overwhelmed"

"A widespread method of extracting natural gas by shooting chemical-laced water underground is a growing threat to water supplies in 28 states, say scientists, landowners and environmentalists.

Known as 'fracking,' the practice fractures underground rock formations to release vast but otherwise unreachable quantities of natural gas. In cases surfacing around the country, nearby landowners are claiming their water became poisoned shortly after the drilling process began -- and they're convinced frack wells are the cause.

But the science of frack wells is uncertain, and the natural gas industry is pushing back hard, saying they're not to blame. Affected landowners, angry that they've been unwittingly subjected to poisoned water, say their frustrations have been compounded by unresponsive regulators who fail to fix their water or hold the drilling companies accountable."

Isaac Wolf reports for Scripps Howard News Service November 18, 2010.

Friday, November 19, 2010