Two more cases of groundwater contamination in Pennsylvania: benzene, arsenic and mercury

I have previously posted about multiple water contamination incidents in Pennsylvania attributed to natural gas operations.

Recent news reports describe two additional cases of groundwater contamination in Pennsylvania suspected to be caused by natural gas operations.

In Washington County, a recent lawsuit claims that natural gas production operations, including potentially hydraulic fracturing, contaminated groundwater on a farm that produces wine grapes as well as heirloom tomatoes--this farm is thought to be the largest supplier of heirloom tomatoes on the east coast. Water testing conducted by the property owner has found arsenic at 2,600 times acceptable levels, benzene at 44 times above limits, naphthalene at five times the federal standard, and mercury and selenium levels above official limits.

In late 2007, another farming family in Washington County noticed their tap water was cloudy. In 2008,  ten of their cattle died, including four calves that were born blind and one born with a cleft palate. The article in the link has a photo of the sludge found in the family's water. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered the drilling company to drill a new drinking water well for the family and provide a clean water supply for farm operations. In a previous post I wrote about other reported health impacts to livestock from oil and gas operations around the country.