New Study “Certainly Indicates” Shale Development is “Environmentally Sound”

A new study reflects the clear fact that shale gas development is tightly-regulated and safe for our environment, particularly ground water resources. The study, authored by Otterbein University’s Dr. Paul Wendel (formerly of Mansfield University) randomly sampled private water wells in Tioga County, both before and after drilling operations took place.

This from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette:

  • The study, which was funded with university professional development funds and grant funding, was done in two phases, using the first phase in 2011 as a baseline. It showed no “statistically significant” changes in conductivity, pH, calcium, strontium, barium or magnesium in water samples taken from randomly selected water wells near or further away from natural gas wells.
  • Wendel noted that the study, which tested water taken from wells that were both less than 400 meters and more than 400 meters from gas well sites, used several different testing methods to make sure the results were the same. … Wendel said the group used a randomization procedure to choose 52 permitted but undrilled gas sites and 46 permitted and drilled gas sites, then identified water wells within 400 meters of the 98 gas well sites.

And in an editorial, the Williamsport Sun-Gazette underscores these facts:

  • The findings on gas drilling in the region compiled by Dr. Paul Wendel, a former Mansfield University professor, are encouraging. … The study showed no “statistically significant” changes in conductivity, pH, calcium, strontium, barium or magnesium in water samples taken from randomly selected water wells near or further away from natural gas wells.
  • Overall, there doesn’t appear to be much significant change in the water well content from drilling. … His study certainly indicates that the gas well drilling process is environmentally sound.

This is yet another clear indication that shale operators are safely developing the Commonwealth’s natural resources, all while protecting and enhancing our air, land and water — now and generations to come. And for information about how shale producers protect our water resources, and ensure that our environment is protected, please follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.