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Groups denounce attack on EPA investigation of fracking contamination

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By Gwen Lachelt

January 17, 2012

After initial testing in August 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) urged Pavillion-area residents not to drink their water or use it for cooking. The reason: their drinking water wells were contaminated with hazardous chemicals commonly associated with oil and gas development.

In the wake of that testing, the EPA began investigating whether the contamination was actually caused by oil and gas development – that is, they set out to determine if oil and gas development actually was guilty of contaminating people’s drinking water wells.

Last month, the preliminary results of that investigation were released as a draft report: yes, oil and gas development, including hydraulic fracturing, is the culprit.

This is a huge deal.  If these results are confirmed, they will definitively refute the oil and gas industry’s oft-repeated claim that hydraulic fracturing has never contaminated drinking water wells.

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Big Brother is Watching Colorado’s Local Governments

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By Gwen Lachelt

January 3, 2012

In today’s Denver Post, Mark Jaffe reports that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is creating two local government liaison positions. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association – the industry lobbying group - is also adding a community liaison position.

As a new drilling wave hits Colorado’s Front Range, local governments are working hard to get in front of drilling and have proper safeguards in place before it’s too late.

Unfortunately, local control is the last thing the state and the industry wants. COGA’s Tisha Schuller stated in the article that the “industry is engaging in a more meaningful way than it used to.”

This is actually a case of the oil and gas industry and the state dusting off a dirty old strategy and making it sound shiny and new and helpful.

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@realscientists ah, so your numbers did not include wastewater injection for disposal?

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