More drinking water contamination incidents from Pennsylvania, including arsenic

Back in 2009, I blogged about a family in Washington County, Pennsylvania, who found very high levels of arsenic in their drinking water after nearby fracking. Just recently I have heard of more cases of arsenic contamination in the same region.

Stacy Haney of Washington County is a Registered Nurse. After leasing her land for natural gas drilling, Stacey’s dog, her neighbor’s dog, and three goats died. Stacey’s horse became sick, and then Stacey and her children became sick. Her son was hospitalized twice and was unable to go to school for over a year, and Stacey and her daughter experienced similar symptoms. An autopsy revealed arsenic in the neighbor’s dog, and both Stacey and her daughter were found to have arsenic in their blood. Their symptoms improved after they stopped drinking their tap water.

Earlier this month I blogged about the McEvoy family in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Their water turned black and had a very foul smell within 2 months of nearby drilling and fracking activities in early 2011. Water tests showed high levels of arsenic and other substances.

In the same area as the McEvoys, Janet McIntyre reports that there are at least seven wellpads within a mile of her home, with one as close as 500 feet. Her entire family became very ill for several days--until their water began foaming and they stopped drinking it. Then their symptoms went away. Janet told a TV news reporter: "They fracked a well within 1,000 feet of our house, and when they fracked, we got sick." Janet believes she has experienced symptoms that can be caused by arsenic poisoning. Water testing has found contaminants associated with natural gas operations but, inexplicably, she says her water was not tested for arsenic.