Gas Drilling May Have Tainted Wyoming Town’s Water

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A gas driller has been “fracking” wells around Pavillion, Wyoming, a technique used in gas shale fields across the country. Now the federal EPA has found that the ground water near the town is undrinkable.

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drew attention to Pavillion’s water in late 2008, and reported extensively on the EPA’s ongoing investigation there a year ago. 

EnCana, the oil and gas company that owns most of the wells near Pavillion, has agreed to contribute to the cost of supplying residents with drinking water, even though the company has not accepted responsibility for the contamination.

EnCana spokesman Doug Hock told ProPublica in an e-mail that the petroleum hydrocarbon compounds the EPA found “covers an extremely wide spectrum of chemicals, many of which aren’t associated with oil and gas.”

“ATSDR’s suggestion to landowners was based upon high levels of inorganics — sodium and sulfate that are naturally occurring in the area,” he said.

ProPublica.org, a non profit news service.

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