Natural gas fracking operations are heavily contaminating drinking water, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.
Water in shallow wells near natural gas fracking wells contained 17 times more methane deposits than in wells near non-active areas, the report found.
The report, entitled Methane Contamination of Drinking Water Accompanying Gas-Well Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing and authored by researchers at the Nicholas School of the Environment and the biology department at Durham's Duke University, surveyed wells in active and non-active natural gas fracking regions in Pennsylvania.
It found that the methane content in shallow well water in active hydraulic fracturing occurs at levels for which the US Office of the Interior recommends "hazard mitigation".
"Based on our groundwater results and the litigious nature of shale-gas extraction, we believe that long-term, ...