West Virginia Water Woes Blamed on Fracking
Date Published: Friday, November 19th, 2010
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People living in Wetzel County, West Virginia say their water is being ruined by hydraulic fracturing, a form of natural gas drilling used to tap the Marcellus shale. Some people living in Wetzel County say their health has declined since the fall of 2008, after natural gas drillers started fracking nearby.
According to Scripps News Service, Wetzel County, located in the West Virginia panhandle, is home to 1,126 active wells, many of them frack wells drilled against the wishes of local residents. Water problems were first noticed by Bonnie Hall, who said her horses began refusing their drinking water in November 2008. That water, drawn from a 300-foot well, smells like an industrial-strength cleaning solvent, Scripps News Service said. Hall’s been forced to ship water in ever since.
Neighbors of Hall also claim they are suffering because of fracking. After hearing about Hall’s horses, they became convinced that natural gas drilling was to blame. Testing done on Hall’s well conducted from April 2009 to May of 2010 showed toxic chemicals including acrylonitrile, benzene, and styrene, and that Hall’s water worsened four months after the second well was fracked, in October 2009. Unfortunately, the test weren’t done under strict conditions, so they won’t be admissible in court, Scripps said.