at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference
Deep-Well Gas Drilling A Concern for State's Water Sources
|"Decades ago, we weren't careful with coal mining. As a result, we are still paying huge sums to clean up acid mine drainage from that period, and we will be for a long time," says Bryan Swistock, water resources specialist with Penn State Cooperative Extension. "We need to be careful and vigilant, or we could see lasting damage to our water resources from so many deep gas wells being drilled across Pennsylvania."|
This latest wave of gas-well drilling is unlike other previous exploration because the wells are so deep, tapping the Marcellus shale formation, which is a mile or more below the surface of much of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York. Scientists have known for years the gas was there, but it wasn't until new drilling technology was developed that it could be extracted. This method uses hydraulic pressure to fracture the shale layer so trapped gas can escape.
"Fracking, as they call it, can require several million gallons of water for each gas well, and some wells may be fracked more than once during their active life, which might span more than a decade," Swistock explains. "Where that water comes from, and what the drillers do with it when it is recovered, is a big issue for our state. The fracking water can have various chemical additives along with natural contaminants from deep underground when it comes back to the surface, so it needs to be collected and treated or recycled properly."
(Click to read entire article)
posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 4:22 PM - permanent link
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