A Pennsylvania judge found no evidence supporting claims that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, had contaminated groundwater.
Water testing laboratory TestAmerica engaged in “fraud and civil conspiracy” with the natural gas company Range Resources when it said fracking hadn’t cause groundwater contamination, environmentalists alleged. Four government agencies, including Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), also rejected claims made in the litigation against Range Resources.
The case was brought to the court by a family living in Washington County, Penn. who alleged their water-well is contaminated by Range Resources and that TestAmerica committed fraud to cover this up. The family’s case is supported by environmental groups.
Washington County Judge William Nalitz ruled that “there were no altered results” made by TestAmerica and that the incident “does not constitute fraud according to Pennsylvania law.” Nalitz also found that there was no evidence TestAmerica lied and dismissed the case.
“The anti-fracking movement has focused almost all its attention on four alleged instances of groundwater contamination – Dimock, Pa.; Pavillion, Wyo.; Parker County, Texas and Washington Co., Pa. – and each claim has been debunked repeatedly by independent parties,” Seth Whitehead, a researcher for the pro-industry group Energy In Depth, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The EPA’s landmark groundwater study and dozens of peer-reviewed studies have also confirmed the fracking process has not contaminated groundwater,” Whitehead said.
“It is becoming quite obvious that activists’ efforts in Washington County are more about generating misleading headlines than seeking justice,” Whitehead added.
Numerous other scientific studies from regulatory bodies, academics, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all agree that fracking does not contaminate drinking water.
“From our assessment, we conclude there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources. We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” according to a five-year study on the impacts of fracking published by the (EPA) in June, 2015.
Even studies financially supported by environmentalists find no effect on water quality from fracking. A three-year study by the University of Cincinnati published in February found that fracking couldn’t contaminate groundwater even though it was paid for by environmentalists. “Our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results,” Amy Townsend-Small, the study’s lead researcher, told Newsweek in April. “We haven’t seen anything to show that wells have been contaminated by fracking.”
Environmentalists responded to these studies with total denial, saying “millions of Americans know that fracking contaminates groundwater and for the EPA to report any differently only proves that the greatest contamination from the industry comes from its influence and ownership of our government.”
Fracking earthquake myths from environmentalists frequently confuse fracking with wastewater disposal. These myths are so widespread that the USGS actually maintains a “Myths and Misconceptions” section of its website to debunk them. Environmental groups frequently blame fracking for just about everything, including droughts, drinking water contamination, flaming tap-water, poverty, income inequality, and even low sperm counts.
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