EPA: Water Safe in PA Town

    With AFP Story by Veronique DUPONT: US-Energy-Gas-Environment
Workers change pipes at Consol Energy Horizontal Gas Drilling Rig exploring the Marcellus Shale outside the town of Waynesburg, PA on April 13, 2012. It is estimated that more than 500 trillion cubic feet of shale gas is contained in this stretch of rock that runs through parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. Shale gas is natural gas stored deep underground in fine-grained sedimentary rocks. It can be extracted using a process known as hydraulic fracturing – or "fracking" – which involves drilling long horizontal wells in shale rocks more than a kilometre below the surface. Massive quantities of water, sand and chemicals are pumped into the wells at high pressure. This opens up fissures in the shale, which are held open by the sand, enabling the trapped gas to escape to the surface for collection. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

    Mladen Antonov, AFP / Getty Images

    The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that water in Dimrock, Pa., does not show hazardous levels of contaminants linked to fracking, the agency announced Friday. Homeowners in the town had filed complaints saying that their water appeared clouded and could be lit on fire. After testing 61 wells in the town, the EPA concluded that water in the town did not show contamination beyond the federal standards set for drinking. According to the agency, one home in the town did test for high levels of methane, but the EPA does not set standard for the presence of the gas. An earlier series of tests found elevated levels of contaminants at four well, and the agency said it will retest those.

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