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Gas company backs out of $45 million deal after gas drilling shown to have contaminated water in Wyoming

December 1, 2011

Texas-based company Legacy Resources announced on November 1 it was planning to buy a gas field near Pavillion, Wyoming – only to announce Tuesday morning it was backing out of the $45 million deal due to a recent EPA study that found cancer-causing benzene present at 50 times the legal limit in Pavillion’s drinking water wells.

Reports of water contamination started surfacing soon after Canadian company EnCana began drilling in central Wyoming at least a decade ago. Encana continues to claim innocence, denying responsibility for families whose drinking water turned black and smelled like gasoline and for the number of residents who suffer neurological impairment, loss of smell and nerve pain. But EnCana has provided numerous households with clean drinking water.

Below is an excerpt from Abrahm Lustgarten’s article published on ProPublica Tuesday morning:

“On Nov. 9 the EPA announced more test results from samples taken in Pavillion. . . It found benzene, along with acetone, toluene, naphthalene and traces of diesel fuel. It also detected a solvent called 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) that is commonly used by the drilling industry to fracture wells. . . In previous statements to ProPublica, [EnCana spokesman Doug Hock] has said that the 2-BE might have come from household cleaning agents, which can contain the chemical. Hock did not reply to questions about whether EnCana had used 2-BE in fracking or any other processes in Pavillion.”

EPA officials are expected to release a more detailed report on pollution in Pavillion in a few weeks.

One Comment
  1. December 5, 2011 7:42 pm

    Lovely isn;t it. I will be mentioning this item in a CSG hearing for the Upper House inquiry, being run by the NSW government (Australia). CSG is expanding very rapidly here, so it is good to learn from earlier horror stories like this

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