Recently, Calgary Herald Columnist Deborah Yedlin wrote about how there is "something fundamentally troubling about the recent reoprt issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding alleged contamination of drinking water at Encana's Pavilion play in Wyoming."
The EPA was originally called in to investigate why the community's drinking water smelled badly, had a bad taste and poor visual appearance. The report, however, does not answer that question.
Instead, the EPA has gone to great lengths to make a connection between the water quality and Encana's drilling and frac'ing activity in the area.
The poorly conducted report demonstrates that the EPA used questionable methods in the testing process.
One of the biggested issues is the obvious failure by the EPA to understand the geology and hydrogeology of the basin in the context of its analysis that showed the presence of low amounts of methane in the drinking water.
What the public needs to understand is that the surface in question is characterized by geology surrounded by shale, not cap rock. This enales the natural gas to naturally rise to the surface. The gas is naturally occurring (hence the term "natural gas") and has nothing to do with natural gas wells being drilled.
Another significant flaw in the EPA's results has to do wtih the benzene present in the liquids. If the EPA understood the characteristics of this organic compound, it would understand how it moves. It can't, unlike what the EPA contends, flow to the surface because the rock porosity - as well as the lack of artesian pressure - prevents this from happening.
"If there is some benzene in evidence," says Encana, "it's because it is naturally occurring and has more to do with where and how the EPA drilled its monitoring wells, which were through natural gas bearing zones."
Another question mark arises in the context of the fracking compounds that were found in the deep monitoring wells drilled by the EPA. Encana says the compounds that were found have never been used by Encana or any of the operators in the area.
This EPA report raises more questions than answers and when rumors abound of frac'ing causing not only contaminated drinking water, but earthquakes, what's next? Frac'ing might cause the Earth to spin off of its axis and collide with the sun? That is the only way the industry could be rightfully accused of causing global warming.
Read the full article here.