Scranton newspaper: Drilling damage in 161 Pennsylvania water supplies

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May 20, 2013

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - An eastern Pennsylvania newspaper has obtained state records showing that oil and gas development damaged the water supplies of at least 161 Pennsylvania homes, farms, churches and businesses between 2008 and the fall of 2012.

The Times-Tribune of Scranton said about 17% of the investigations indicated that water supplies were either temporarily or seriously disrupted enough to require companies to replace the source. Faulty wells channeled natural gas into the water supplies for 90 properties.

A state official said contamination incidents increased with the Marcellus Shale drilling boom in 2008. Department spokesman Kevin Sunday attributed the increase to an "adjustment period" as drilling moved from western Pennsylvania to central and eastern regions where the geology is less studied. He said tougher regulations have reduced the number of problems.

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