It looks there might be some answers to the question, is the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, safe for the environment? CBS News is reporting that a landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, the Department of Energy told The Associated Press.
The study, done by the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, marked the first time that a drilling company let government scientists inject special tracers into the fracking fluid and then continue regular monitoring to see whether it spread toward drinking water sources. The research is being done at a drilling site in Greene County, which is southwest of Pittsburgh and adjacent to West Virginia.
Nicole Walls, a Cheat Lake resident, told 5 News the study is good news for the natural gas industry. However, she said she would like to see more studies like this done before she decides if fracking is safe for the environment.
"There has been studies on a lot of different things that we hear about all of the time," she said. "You can't always justify them because its the federal government (who put it together), but I do take a little more credence towards it.
Although the results are preliminary -- the study is still ongoing -- they are a boost to a natural gas industry that has fought complaints from environmental groups and property owners who call fracking dangerous.