Pennsylvania: Hundreds of complaints of water contamination from oil and gas activities

The number of problems stemming from oil and gas production is high.....and getting higher. Recently I blogged that Wyoming saw more than 500 spills in the oil and gas industry in 2013. A mind-boggling number. But there's more.

A new AP report found that the state of Pennsylvania received 398 complaints that oil or gas operations polluted or otherwise affected private water wells in 2013, and received 499 in 2012. Of course, the existence of a complaint does not mean that oil and gas operations did cause drinking water contamination, but another report by the Scranton Times-Tribune found that Pennsylvania regulators determined that oil and gas development damaged the water supplies for at least 161 Pennsylvania homes, farms, churches and businesses between 2008 and the fall of 2012.

Each one of these complaints needs to be thoroughly investigated. As we've blogged about before, we dont think that state regulators have been enforcing the rules as vigorously as they need to be to protect public health and the environment.