More benzene in drinking water; two more cases of drinking water contamination linked to hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett shale

Is anyone else tired of my regular blog posts entitled: "another case of drinking water contamination linked to hydraulic fracturing......."?

I started blogging about these incidents to counter the regular industry claims that there has never been "a single incidence of drinking water contamination..." Industry says that "Every step of the process—from the initial boring of the well to its sealing after it has run dry" is safe.

I think it's pretty clear by now that is not the case. Here are the latest disturbing incidents:

Larry Bisidas is an expert in drilling wells and in groundwater. He is the owner of Bisidas Water Well Drilling in Wise County, and has been drilling water wells for 40 years. Two water wells on his property have become contaminated. As Mr. Bisidas said: "That's pretty bad when the well man is buying bottled water." When his state regulator stated that there has been no groundwater contamination in Texas related to hydraulic fracturing, Mr. Bisidas replied: ""All they've gotta do is come out to my place, and I'll prove it to them."

Also in Wise County, Catherine and Brett Bledsoe report that their drinking water became contaminated soon after hydraulic fracturing began on two natural gas wells bordering their property. The water stung their eyes during showers, and their animals refused to drink the water. Without any assistance from regulators, the Bledsoes paid for their own water testing. The testing found benzene, a known carcinogen, at double the safe levels.

What will it take for state regulators to fully investigate these cases and help citizens with carcinogens in their drinking water? It is more clear than ever that federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act is essential. If you haven't done so already, please write your member of Congress and let them know you want them to support legislation to do just that. You can take action to close the Halliburton Loophole on NRDC's website.

In the meantime, I'll keep blogging about these cases

About the Authors

Amy Mall

Senior Policy Analyst, Land & Wildlife program

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