Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pennsylvania Fracking Gets Another Clean Bill of Health

No major water quality impacts from drilling
At least so far so good, as far as local natural gas drilling and local water quality are concerned - that's the conclusion of a local geologist and expert in water quality, and that's what he told the Clinton County Natural Gas Task Force Tuesday.

Dr. Md. Khalequzzaman, a professor at Lock Haven University outlined a data study based on collections of samples from a 60-mile stretch of the the Susquehanna River, from Keating to Williamsport, during an unusual five-day "weather event" last June.

In his view based upon the data collected, the Marcellus Shale impacts on that stretch of river were minimal, despite the upsurge in drilling activity.

Another story for another time, might be the former era of coal mining, with the accompanying contamination that created acid mine drainage (AMD), and the impact of the agricultural industry on the Susquehanna River Basin leading to Chesapeake Bay.
Tests focused on minerals and phosphates, contained in the high flow, along with testing for ph levels, temperature, salinity, flow and other factors - over 20,000 data points in all.

After examining the findings, he concluded "no signature elements associated with Marcellus Shale" were found in any significant or measurable amounts.
This was clearly a short term study, designed to find whether fracking fluids were being washed in to the Susquehanna system under high rain/run off conditions.  While it alone cannot completely clear fracking from the charge of wide spread water pollution, it's just another nail in the coffin.

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