USGS backs EPA assessment of Wyoming well water

A reassessment of a controversial report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed some of the agency's findings, indicating the possibility that wells in Pavillion, Wyoming, could have been contaminated by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Geological Survey released its own study of the wells tested by the EPA. Though it did not draw any conclusions from its assessments, the agency confirmed that it did find the same types of contaminants in the water that can be associated with fracking, including methane, ethane and phenol.

Industry representatives noted that the results remain largely inconclusive as to the source of this contamination, and Encana Corp. maintains that the limited number of test wells and the low quality of these wells make these studies unreliable.

"These groundwater investigations are kind of a tricky business. You don’t always get these super-conclusive results with, you know, just a couple rounds of sampling from two wells," David Yoxtheimer with Penn State’s Marcellus Initiative for Outreach and Research told The Associated Press. "When you’ve got two wells, you really are just kind of scratching the surface."

The industry for unconventional natural gas is explored at PennEnergy's Research area.

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