Pennsylvania Releases 9,442 Fracking Complaints Spanning 12 Years
People in Pennsylvania filed 9,442 complaints about natural gas fracking, 44% of them related to rural well water, over a 12-year period, according to files recently released by the state government.
“To date, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reports only 284 positive water contaminations for the 10,027 fracking wells drilled. That 3% figure seems pretty low,” EcoWatch reports.
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“What hasn’t set right with many is that Pennsylvania’s official water contamination rate is starkly different than what citizens report on the ground,” writes correspondent Laurel Peltier. “Thousands of news stories, YouTube videos, and social media posts report an entirely different story of serious fracking water issues, rampant air pollution, land destruction, and negative health issues.”
Peltier says the DEP documents point to an “alarming, shocking” collection of citizen complaints that focus largely on drinking water, showing that “water contamination is indeed widespread and systemic” even though 96% of the complaints were dismissed. And the volume of complaints increased over time, showing that problems were getting worse rather than being resolved.
“As fracking grew in Pennsylvania, gas operators should have reduced the negative impacts to land, air, and water over time,” she writes. But “this data suggests that as fracking continues, complaint ratios increase.”