COPY-Report: Fracking chemicals in NE Pa. water wells

Associated Press - September 16, 2010 10:34 AM ET

DIMOCK, Pa. (AP) - A private lab reports finding toxic chemicals in the drinking water of a Pennsylvania community already dealing with methane contamination from natural gas drilling.

Daniel Farnham tells The Times-Tribune of Scranton that his tests found ethylene glycol, propylene glycol and toluene in the well water of "almost everybody" living on Carter Road in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County. The chemicals are among dozens used to hydraulically fracture, or frack, shale deposits to release natural gas.

The wells are in the heart of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale. Dimock residents sued Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. last year, alleging the drilling company polluted their wells with methane gas and other contaminants.

On Tuesday, 13 families in Lenox Township, Susquehanna County, sued another Houston driller, Southwestern Energy Co., claiming their wells were also contaminated with fracking fluids.

In the Dimock case, Cabot says the chemicals existed in some wells before drilling began. In Lenox, Southwestern denied any problems with its well.

Information from: The Times-Tribune,

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