By Kevin Begos
The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH — A new study has found that natural gas drilling, or fracking, hasn’t contaminated drinking water wells in Arkansas. But researchers say the geology there is more of a natural barrier to pollution than in other areas of shale gas drilling, such as Pennsylvania.
Duke University professor Avner Vengosh says the team “didn’t see any contamination” in an area of heavy drilling in north-central Arkansas. Members of the U.S. Geological Survey were also part of the study, which examined 127 drinking water wells for evidence of pollution from methane gas or chemicals.
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Katherine Benenati declined to comment on the study.
Vengosh says the findings don’t mean that contamination can’t happen, since faulty well construction or areas with different geology could cause different results.