Environmental Group: Fracking threatens water

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Wichita, Kan. --- There are new concerns illegal fracking practices could endanger drinking water.

The watchdog group called The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) says the oil and gas industry is using diesel, contrary to the law, in hydraulic fracturing or fracking operations at the risk of polluting water.

Mary Greene is senior managing attorney at EIP and is the author of an investigation and report on fracking practices.

Greene says diesel has been used in fracking to aid in loosening the oil and gas for recovery from the shell formations. But she says using diesel in the process without a permit was prohibited under the Safe Water Safety Act.

Greene says, "Diesel is still being used. We've found evidence of it in 12 different states."

One of those states, she says, is Kansas including Harper and Grant Counties.

Greene says she's identified four Kansas wells fracked in 2011 where the operators have reported in disclosures the use of diesel. Greene says it threatens human health if the diesel gets in the water.

"They cause cancer. They cause neurological problems and kidney and liver damage."

The industry asserts fracking doesn't threaten the water because the formations drilled into are so much deeper than the water table, something Greene doesn't agree with.

Greene says her investigation also finds some operators have gone back and changed their disclosures of using diesel in a DATA base called 'Frac Focus.'

"If they go back and change their disclosures to remove diesel use it's certainly imaginable they would fail to report it in the first place."

Greene, based in Washington, D.C. says she'd like to see the EPA and states do a better job of enforcing the laws on this.

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