New Study Shows No Evidence of Groundwater Contamination From Fracking, But Doesn
“The report deserves widespread attention. But it is by no means the final word on these topics,” Anderson said.
Hugh MacMillan, a senior researcher at the environmental non-profit Food & Water Watch, was skeptical that the report definitively proved there was no link between groundwater contamination and the fracking process because it dismissed long-term risk to aquifers from migrations of fracturing fluids.
“The fracking wastewater that stays underground indefinitely is subject to geological forces and chemical processes that are beyond anyone's control,” MacMillan said in an email. “Decades from now, the risk may well be clearly defined by the clear contamination of aquifers, but then the damage will be irreversible. The uncertainty over fracking's potential to contaminate aquifers is precisely why the risk cannot be dismissed.”
In that vain, the Energy Institute will begin a detailed case study in April, focusing exclusively on claims of groundwater pollution in North Texas’ Barnett Shale. Another project currently under development would include an investigation the connection between water in the units above and below the shale unit being fractured as a result of the extraction method.