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How a Small Wyoming Town Might Be the First to Prove its Water Damaged by Natural Gas Production

April 9, 2011

Lou Meeks of Pavillion Wyoming has fought family health problems, social and political battles trying to prove his well water is polluted from natural gas drilling

Pavillion Wyoming was one of the first places where residents thought their drinking water polluted by unconventional natural gas drilling.  The industrial development was turning the water colors, fouling the taste and smell with gas, and lacing it with chemicals.  For over a decade the people of Pavillion have lived heartbreaking and frustrating lives but have continued to fight and fight…and now finally “might be the first community to prove its water damaged by natural gas production.”

“A 2004 EPA study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater in

John Fenton of Pavillion WY worked for the gas companies for years prior to working his family farm. He now finds his and his family's health at serious risk.

coalbed methane deposits found that a third of fracturing fluids are expected to get left behind, and that these ‘will likely be transported by groundwater flowing according to regional hydraulic gradients.’ There are more than 30 water-bearing formations lying under the Wind River Valley; according to the USGS, a lot of intermingling goes on down there.”

“Without any other kind of major industry anywhere near this rural landscape, the list of culprits is short. The EPA’s Greg Oberley says methane has a fingerprint which can be analyzed and linked—or not—to the gas EnCana has been producing.”

One Comment
  1. April 9, 2011 9:11 am

    I thought that in Dimmock PA this had already been proved – DEP testing confirmed by the same “footprinting” that the methane gas in their wells was the same ass that in the Cabot gas well. So would not have been the first???

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