For the past two years, residents of Parker County have experienced eruptions of flames shooting from their water wells as a result of dangerous levels of methane gas traveling into their water supply. Barnett Shale gas producers have claimed zero connection to their gas and oil operations, but a pair of scientists are now disputing this. This new connection has been made based on test results released by state regulators providing a direct connection to the fracking and groundwater contamination.
As reported by the Associated Press, the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project has been attempting to help people who feel they have been sickened by natural gas drilling or processing for about 18 months in a southern Pittsburgh county where nearly 700 natural gas wells have been drilled in the past six years. The study conducted, although not a full survey of the area, did uncover 27 cases in which people in Washington County believed they were hurt by nearby drilling. These injuries included skin rashes, eye irritation, breathing problems, headaches, and dizziness. These findings challenge the industry position that no one suffers but also suggests the issue may not be as wide spread as some critics claim.