Hydrogeologist, Paul Rubin, warns of toxic water contamination near fracking sites. Rubin’s report focuses on Seneca Lake, Ohio’s second-largest freshwater lake, as an example of a Muskingum reservoir case study. He concludes that leasing for widespread gas and oil drilling is a “present worst-case scenario” because:
• Gas and oil wells, some drilled more than half a century ago, have weak or failing plugs of questionable integrity. The ability of aging, incomplete and absent well sealant (i.e., plug) materials to keep toxic contaminations out of freshwater aquifers, reservoirs and waterways is poor and short-lived;
• Cement sheaths, steel casing and clay plugs of known wells are failing or will fail within anywhere from a few years to decades, thereby creating new pathways for explosive methane gas and fracking poisons to flow into drinking water sources. Huge fracking pressures will blow out weak clay plugs in old wells, many beneath reservoirs. Earthquakes will further shorten the limited durability and life span of well sealant materials;
• Repeated hydraulic fracturing will result in interconnecting natural and created fractures and old, poorly plugged, gas and oil wells, allowing upward contaminant migration into drinking water supplies, including reservoirs; and
• Toxic hydrofracking fluids injected deeply in the ground will move with groundwater flow systems, eventually moving upward into freshwater aquifers, reservoirs and waterways. Permitting of horizontal gas wells proximal to reservoirs will needlessly jeopardize water quality.
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