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Fracking study proves nothing substantial

I am writing about the Associated Press article “DOE study: Fracking chemicals didn’t taint water.” No, it didn’t say fracking is safe, because what the study looked for wasn’t toxic chemicals, but “markers” added to the fracking liquid injected down a Pennsylvania well.

When these markers didn’t appear at higher levels, it was assumed that the fracking liquid didn’t make it up that high, either. This would only be true if the markers didn’t settle out of the fracking liquid while the rest of the liquid rose. Why not look for the fracking liquid itself?

What’s more, the article says eight wells were monitored seismically, but only one well got the marker test – that’s one out of thousands of Pennsylvania wells, hardly a significant sample. And there is no mention at all of the results of the seismic tests.

What the DOE should be testing is water at the hundreds of sites in western states where water tables have been contaminated with benzene and other chemicals associated with fracking.

And as the Duke University scientist pointed out, the drilling company knew they were being monitored, which might make them proceed more carefully than otherwise.

This kind of DOE study does not make the public more secure about fracking, but less secure, when it is obvious that it doesn’t prove anything at all.

David Irvin

Williamsville