Though scientists have yet to find definitive evidence that drilling chemicals have seeped into ground water, there are dozens of anecdotal reports from around the state that water supplies in gas-production areas have been tainted.
The public outcry threatens to impede exploitation of the 44-million-acre (18-million-hectare) Marcellus Shale, which geologists say might contain enough natural gas to meet U.S. demand for a decade.
People in gas-drilling areas say their well water has become discolored or foul-smelling; their pets and farm animals have died from drinking it; and their children have suffered from diarrhea and vomiting.
Bathing in well water can cause rashes and inflammation, and ponds bubble with methane that has escaped during drilling, they say. ...
Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for Texas-based Range Resources Corp. said, "There are zero reports of chemical contamination of groundwater."
Ron Gulla, who said his land has been polluted by Range's gas drilling, was incredulous. "I have never seen such a bunch of liars in my life," he shouted at Pitzarella, to scattered applause. "You have put me through hell."
U.S. energy companies rushing to exploit Pennsylvania's massive natural gas reserves have launched a public relations campaign to calm fears the bonanza is contaminating water with toxic chemicals. Read all about it HERE.