A study of natural gas wells in Texas and Pennsylvania released Sept. 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that cases of groundwater contamination tend to be caused by poor well construction rather than hydraulic fracturing. Researchers from Duke, Ohio State, Stanford, Dartmouth and the University of Rochester conducted this study.
“The study’s conclusion is yet another reason why more attention must be focused on well integrity issues,” says Scott Anderson, senior policy advisor, US Climate and Energy Program in an emailed response. “While we have not had time to review the study in detail, our understanding of its initial findings demonstrates a greater need for more stringent rules and enforcement that protect communities and their water quality from the risks associated with natural gas development.”
He added, “Many states have been updating their well integrity regulations in recent years, but this research is a call for increased action. EDF has and will continue to work with state officials to develop effective regulatory frameworks that will help ensure that wells are constructed and maintained properly – minimizing the number of incidents reported of contaminated groundwater.”
To read the full report, published Sept. 15, follow this link.