As gas-drilling operations proliferated in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale over the past couple of years, most of the hundreds of millions of gallons of briny wastewater they produced was eventually dumped into the state’s rivers. Much of the rest is unaccounted for.
The use of a mix of water and chemicals, known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has generated controversy and a series of studies, orders and regulations in 2010 from the federal government and a number of states on the topic of gas drilling.
Residents of Dimock, Pa., are surprised -- and in some cases upset -- by a settlement that state environmental regulators reached last week with Cabot Oil & Gas, which the Department of Environmental Protection says contaminated local water from its gas drilling operations.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been followed by huge amounts of reporting. Here's our attempt to distill the information, with questions and answers about the scope of the spill, how the government and BP are handling the situation, and more.
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.