Delayed Release of Study Clears Fracking in Groundwater Impact in Ohio

Another study has been produced showing no groundwater impact from hydraulic fracturing, at least in eastern Ohio.

A report in the journal Environmental Monitoring Assessment credited the study by the University of Cincinnati. Using data collected between 2012 and 2015 and 191 samples from 25 water wells, the study concentrated on drilling in the Utica Shale.

Researchers discovered that methane found in the water samples was biogenic and not from Utica Shale drilling.

“We found no relationship between Ch4 (methane) concentration or source in groundwater and proximity to active gas well sites,” said geology professor Amy Townsend-Small and the five other authors of the publication.

In addition, “… our data do not indicate any intrusion of high conductivity fracking fluids as the number of fracking wells increased in the region,” they added.

But as the late Paul Harvey used to say, “Now the rest of the story.”

The results of the study were actually released in 2016 but quietly because two of the supporting foundations that had funded it sought different results. They professed the drilling had harmed groundwater. So the two groups withdrew from the project.

At the time, the results were posted on a YouTube video and did not get much publicity. Since then, criticism grew from pro-drilling groups and legislators who chided the researchers and the university for not releasing more information about the results of the study.


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