One of the claims made often by the environmental activists protesting hydraulic fracturing is that it leads to contaminated groundwater. This claim is made, ad nauseum, by activists who expect us to take it as an article of faith. There are even high-profile claims of contaminated water, such as the infamous lighting tap water on fire video from the film Gasland (it’s bogus), but there is no solid data to prove a link betweeen fracking and water contamination.
But there is a growing body of evidence to prove that fracking doesn’t pollute groundwater. Earlier this year a study by a group of universities found that fracking doesn’t cause groundwater contamination (it can happen due to faulty casings, but that a) has nothing to do with fracking and b) has been an issue for about as long as we’ve been drilling for oil).
Now another study looking at random samplings from groundwater in the Northern Plains region (basically, the Bakken) has found no indication of groundwater contamination from fracking.
“Random testing of shallow groundwater in the Northern Plains oil patch found no early evidence of contamination from an energy boom that’s already seen more than 8,500 wells drilled, federal scientists said Monday,” reports the Associated Press.
The study was conducted by the United States Geological Service.
Now, to be sure, there is an issue with surface spills which can also lead to water contamination. But, again, surface spills are not a new development in the energy world and have nothing to do with fracking.
The claim from the environmental activists is that fracking leads to contaminated water. There remains absolutely no verifiable data to support this claim, and quite a lot to disprove it.