Article on confirmed water contamination incidents

If you haven't heard of ProPublica, it describes itself this way: "ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest." The Editor-in-Chief is former Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal, and the Managing Editor is former investigative editor of The New York Times.

A recent ProPublica article focused on water contamination caused by oil and gas activities.  This article was published on the front page of the Denver Post.  But to show how this issue is of interest outside the Rocky Mountain region, the article was also published by Business Week and the on-line Scientific American.  An EPA inspector interviewed for the article states: "The impacts are there."

Among other things, the article discusses the secrecy surrounding chemicals used by industry in the oil and gas production process.  A representative of a gas company states: "It is like Coke protecting its syrup formula for many of these service companies."  It's not; Coke has to disclose all of its ingredients right on every can and bottle.

This article was criticized in a Letter to the Editor of the Denver Post as only providing anecdotes.  ProPublica's Editor-in-Chief responded in his own Letter to the Editor: "The incidents of water contamination documented in our story come from official sources in the public record where states or courts confirmed the information and acted on it through the issuance of fines, citations, or other judgments. Therefore, to dismiss these cases as mere 'anecdotes' is fatuous."