Environment

Sep 26, 2012 9:27 PM by AP posted by Juice Godfrey

New Wyo. tests show less benzene in fracking zone

MEAD GRUVER
Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - New groundwater testing in Wyoming shows much lower levels of the carcinogen benzene than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported when it linked contaminants in two water wells to hydraulic fracturing.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said Wednesday that the state still needs to review the data from the U.S. Geological Survey, but he praised the new tests as an improvement over last year's EPA reports.

Pavillion-area homeowners complain that their well water turned foul with chemicals when gas drilling picked up in their neighborhood about seven years ago.

The USGS, Wyoming, the EPA and two Indian tribes collaborated on the new testing after state officials criticized the EPA for not involving them in the earlier study.

The study drew a link between certain contaminants and fracking, which blasts water, sand and chemicals into wells to crack open rock fissures.

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