New data on Wyo. fracking site await interpretation
He said Encana would comment on the results after it had more time to review them. Same with some environmentalists: The Natural Resources Defense Council looked at the data and did not comment Wednesday.
“A better interpretation of the data would have been beneficial for the impacted residents and the public,” Deb Thomas of the Powder River Basin Resource Council said by email. The council has been representing some of the Pavillion residents who have complained about well water that became befouled by chemicals.
Benzene is not among the chemicals the EPA pointed to last year in making the link to fracking. The process of extracting oil and gas involves pumping millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals down well holes to crack open formations and improve the flow of hydrocarbons.
Pavillion-area homeowners say their water became tainted after gas drilling — and fracking — picked up in their neighborhood about seven years ago.
Wyoming officials and the petroleum industry criticized the draft EPA study, characterizing its findings as flimsy. State officials were further incensed the EPA did not consult with them about the testing it was doing on their turf.
Last winter, Wyoming officials and the EPA mended fences and announced they would collaborate with the USGS and the tribes on the new testing. A full peer review of the sampling and findings to date will occur later.