DEQ Draft Report suggests fracking is not responsible for Pavillion-area water contamination

(Pavillion, Wyo.) — The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality released its 80,000 page draft report on the Pavillion contaminated water well study late on Friday with a conclusion that fracking is not at fault. "Evidence does not indicate that hydraulic fracturing fluids have risen to shallow depths intersected by water supply wells. Also, based on an evaluation of hydraulic fracturing history, and methods used in the Pavillion Gas Field, it is unlikely that fracturing has caused any impacts to the water-supply wells," a summary of the report stated. The DEQ Draft report is now open for public comment. The report also calls for more study of the water-quality problems, including a bacterial study. "The presence of bacteria in many of the water-supply wells suggests that this may be a cause of taste and odor issues," the report stated. Two other key findings were: - Inorganic compounds that were found over applicable drinking water standards are generally associated with naturally occurring salts, metals and radionuclides. Industrial applications may use some of these same compounds (e.g. oil and gas drilling mud contains chloride and potassium). - All organic constituents identified in groundwater samples at concentrations less than drinking water standards or comparison values may have originated from a multitude of possible sources, including spills, oil and gas activities, and other residential and industrial uses. The DEQ report was based on June and August 2014 sampling of 13 water supply wells. The report said addition work could include further evaluation of surface pits in the area and their potential impact on water quality. "A mid to late January 2016 meeting for the Pavillion Working Group is anticipated. Thismeeting is intended to provide an update to the Working Group and an opportunity forthe public to obtain clarification that may be useful in the review and development ofcomments on the draft report," according to the report. #dally #news