Stephen Ghirardelli: Differing information
December 14, 2011
To the editor:
After reading the Saturday Morning Press article, "New fracking rules under consideration," I became confused by Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray's statement that "there has never been a documented case of ground water pollution resulting from mineral extraction."
Commissioner Gray asserted, "The Environmental Protection Agency and the (Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission) are both on public record stating there has never been a case of fracking polluting a water source. I think there is some public misconception that there is this great risk and I think there is a middle ground between the extreme environmental viewpoint and common sense."
Commissioner Gray's assertions confused me because I had read only two days before in Thursday's Denver Post a front page article titled, "Wells tied to foul water."
In Pavilion, Wyo., about 200 miles north of Moffat County, "Hydraulic fracturing has been linked for the first time to groundwater pollution."
Further into the article, I read, "The three-year EPA study of complaints by ranchers and farmers about well pollution concluded: 'The data indicates likely impact to groundwater that can be explained by hydraulic fracturing.'"
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John Fenton, a Pavilion farmer, commented, "It was a whole series of bad practices that led to this problem. Fracking was just one of them. … After being told for years that this wasn't happening, that there was no scientific evidence, this is a relief to us."