The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Congress to EPA: Investigate and Address Water Contamination From Fracking
For the first time, members of Congress today called upon U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to “investigate and address the water contamination” in Dimock, PA, in Parker County, TX, and in Pavillion, WY. In all three communities, the EPA has previously withdrawn investigations into water contamination and stopped providing affected residents with clean drinking water. Eight Representatives, led by Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-17), made the request in a letter to Administrator McCarthy.
Responding to community requests in prior years, the EPA investigated alleged drilling and fracking-related oil and gas pollution of drinking water supplies in each of the three communities. In each case, the EPA’s preliminary results indicated oil and gas development was the cause of the drinking water pollution. In each case, the EPA withdrew before finalizing the results of the investigations.
“Dimock, PA, Pavillion, WY, and Parker County, TX were grateful when the EPA stepped in to help deal with their water contamination issues, and disheartened when the EPA stopped their investigations, leaving them with polluted water and little explanation,” wrote the Representatives to Administrator McCarthy. They continued, “We are writing to urge you to take any and all steps within your power to help these communities.”
Emerging data shows that the EPA was misguided in closing its investigations. In the case of Parker County, TX, for instance, independent water testing from Duke University reveals that residents’ drinking water was still contaminated when the EPA determined it was safe due to relying on faulty gas industry testing.
The EPA’s investigations into fracking-related threats to drinking water are especially important as the Obama Administration advocates for increased natural gas exports as a counterweight to Russia’s influence in Eastern Europe. Because more than 90 percent of all gas wells are fracked, increased exports mean increased fracking.
“Europeans aren’t fracking their own countries’ shale gas because they are worried about its environmental and health impacts,” said Ray Kemble, an affected resident of Dimock, Pennsylvania. He continued, “They’re right to worry. I haven’t had clean water for four years, and its due to oil and gas drilling.”
President Obama’s argument for increased unconventional oil and gas production has changed as times have changed.
“President Obama’s arguments for fracking change with the wind,” said Kemble. He continued, “Need a bridge fuel to a clean energy future? Fracking! Want energy independence? Fracking! Weaken Putin? Fracking! All the while his administration avoids clear evidence that fracking-related oil and gas development is poisoning Americans. Hopefully this letter will shake some sense into them.”
The eight members of Congress who signed the letter are:
- Matt Cartwright (PA-17)
- Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
- Jared Huffman (CA-02)
- Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
- Keith Ellison (MN-05)
- David Scott (GA-13)
- Mark Pocan (WI-02)
- Rush Holt (NJ-12)
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The annual Arctic thaw has kicked off with record-setting ice melt and sea ice loss that is several weeks ahead of schedule, scientists said, as the New York Times reported.
'This Should Scare the Hell Out of You': Photo of Greenland Sled Dog Teams Walking on Melted Water Goes Viral
By Jon Queally
In yet the latest shocking image depicting just how fast the world's natural systems are changing due to the global climate emergency, a photograph showing a vast expanse of melted Arctic ice in Greenland — one in which a pair of sled dog teams appear to be walking on water — has gone viral.
By Tia Schwab
It has been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed the Carolinas, dumping a record 30 inches of rainfall in some parts of the states. At least 52 people died, and property and economic losses reached $24 billion, with nearly $17 billion in North Carolina alone. Flood waters also killed an estimated 3.5 million chickens and 5,500 hogs.
'Huge Victory' for Grassroots Climate Campaigners as NY Lawmakers Reach Deal on Sweeping Climate Legislation
By Julia Conley
Grassroots climate campaigners in New York applauded on Monday after state lawmakers reached a deal on sweeping climate legislation, paving the way for the passage of what could be some of the country's most ambitious environmental reforms.
Tens of Thousands Flee Extreme Heatwave in India as Temperatures Topping 120°F Kill Dozens Across Country
By Julia Conley
Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation.
By Will J. Grant
In an ideal world, people would look at issues with a clear focus only on the facts. But in the real world, we know that doesn't happen often.
People often look at issues through the prism of their own particular political identity — and have probably always done so.