Vast deposits of natural gas have brought a drilling boom across much of the country, but the technique being used, called hydraulic fracturing, is suspected of causing hundreds of cases of water contamination. Now environmentalists and lawmakers are pushing for closer oversight of the gas industry, which is pushing back.
The New York Senate passes a bill intended to temporarily ban hydraulic fracturing. But it might also end up temporarily banning most gas and oil drilling in the state.
Methane contamination is a bellwether issue in discussion of the safety of hydraulic fracturing, because where methane goes, other chemicals can go, too.
A Senate bill aimed at cracking down on oil drillers after the Gulf spill includes a measure to require companies to make public what chemicals they've injected underground in natural gas drilling.
A congressional committee has been trying – without success -- to get some answers from gas companies involved in hydraulic fracturing. The quest for information shows how responsibility for drilling operations can be diffused among a variety of contractors.
Range Resources plans to disclose details of the chemicals it uses to drill for natural gas in Pennsylvania. Some believe that chemicals used in the drilling process, called hydraulic fracturing, are contaminating drinking water.
A couple of environmental and public health groups have teamed up to create FracTracker, a website that lets users post and find information about natural gas drilling and where it is happening.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued its first livestock quarantine, keeping 28 beef cattle off the market because they may have been exposed to contaminated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
A new EPA study of hydraulic fracturing that has invoked the ire of drilling companies is expected to provide a broad look at the natural gas drilling process, including injection spills, leaks and water contamination incidents.
The U.S. EPA plans a nationwide study to see if reported water contamination in gas drilling areas is caused by the practice of injecting chemicals and water underground to fracture the gas-bearing rock.The study, hinted at for months, will go over the same ground as a much-criticized 2004 study that found that the practice did not endanger water supplies, even though that study did not test any water.
Two men from a gas-drilling company could get prison time and steep fines after pleading guilty to dumping wastewater into an abandoned oil well in Pennsylvania. The penalties are among the stiffest to be faced by drillers.
Just how fast are federal agencies getting stimulus money out the door?
As the gas drilling industry has boomed nationwide, the number of inspectors looking for violations has not kept pace, with some wells going uninspected for years. The imbalance between drilling growth and regulatory staffing levels could become a crucial factor as lawmakers and the public weigh how much environmental damage to expect in exchange for the benefits brought by the drilling.
A New York environmental report lists options for disposing of wastewater that would result from drilling in the Marcellus Shale, but the operators of those facilities say those options aren't feasible, presenting another obstacle to future drilling.
ew York City officials have called for a ban on natural gas drilling within the city’s 2,000-square-mile upstate watershed and urged Albany to withdraw its controversial draft environmental review for drilling across the state.
Innovative industry "best practices" that may make it easier to exploit U.S. gas reserves with less water and air pollution are used inconsistently across the 31 states where natural gas is drilled. Rarely required by state or federal regulations, they are usually put in place only when drilling companies are forced to by cost or regulatory concerns.