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Shale Gas Companies illegally diverting Millions of Tons of Water in Pennsylvania

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Shale Gas Companies have come under scrutiny for contaminating soil and water in areas where they are extracting gas.I had examined this issue in Is Shale Gas Extraction Environmentally Safe.While there have been no official investigation that has proved that Shale Gas is leading to water pollution,there have been enough anecdotes of contaminated water to raise a question.Note Shale Gas Extraction is a relatively new technique of drilling for Gas in Shale Formations through injecting water mixed with chemicals under high pressure.This naturally leads to water contamination.This fossil fuel extraction takes place in populated areas so the contaminated water has more dangerous effects on nearby communities.

Shale Gas Companies illegally drawing Millions of Tons of Water in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is Ground Zero for Shale Gas Companies as it has the largest Shale Gas Formation in the world – Marcellus Formation.Large Number of Wells have been dug in the State using Millions of Tons of Water.This has come under the spotlight as it is not legal to draw water under the Clean Streams Act.Only communities adjacent to the rivers can use this water.An Environmental Group has also accused the state EPA of colluding with these corporate interests.This may lead to huge lawsuits against these companies and force the Boom to a halt.Shale Gas is supposed to be the new energy panacea as the deposits can meet US energy needs for 20 years.However like other fossil fuels it will deplete leaving behindĀ  a legacy of ecological degradation and destruction.

Pennsylvania broke law on natgas water use: group – Reuters

The Allegheny Defense Project says the state’s Department of Environmental Protection has no legal right to permit drillers, as it does, to take millions of gallons of water from rivers in the western part of the state.That right belongs to owners of riparian land — that which borders waterways — but DEP has ignored the law in facilitating the industry’s demands, the group said in a letter sent to DEP Secretary John Hanger in late July.

The letter is the latest criticism by environmentalists who are concerned about the impact of the booming industry of drilling for natural gas in onshore shale formations.DEP spokeswoman Helen Humphreys said the department would comment after it has studied the letter. “We have taken their concerns seriously and we are gathering all the information necessary to respond appropriately,” she said.The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.But at least one independent expert backed the project’s argument.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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