This incident occurred about a year and a half ago in the Eagle Ford shale area of DeWitt County, Texas, but it's still worth blogging about. I've blogged before about blow-outs during hydraulic fracturing operations in Pennsylvania and North Dakota.
Toby Frederick reports that he began noticing a foul odor and discoloration in his water about a year and a half ago, after "an oil company blew out some casing during a hydraulic fracturing job northeast of his property." Mr. Frederick paid for his own water samples, which found traces of benzene, a known carcinogen, in his water. He sent samples to his local Ground Water Conservation District, but never received any results. He also reports that the Texas Railroad Commission told him his water was drinkable, even though his water is brown and smells like diesel fuel.
Cases like this illustrate why so many Americans have lost confidence in state and local regulators when it comes to protecting drinking water from the risks of oil and gas production, and underscore why it is essential to have federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing to ensure that basic standards are in place across the country.