Fracking and Drinking Water
6:30 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

New Study: Fracking Hasn't Polluted Arkansas Water

A Natural Gas Well
A natural gas drilling rig.
Credit Daniel Foster / flickr.com

A new study says natural gas drilling, or fracking, hasn't contaminated drinking water wells in Arkansas but researchers say the geology there is more of a natural barrier to pollution than in other areas where drilling takes place.

Duke University professor Avner Vengosh says the team "didn't see any contamination" in an area of heavy drilling in north-central Arkansas. Members of the U.S. Geological Survey were also part of the study examining 127 drinking water wells for evidence of pollution from methane gas or chemicals.

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Katherine Benenati declined to comment on the study.

Vengosh says the findings don't mean that contamination can't happen, since faulty well construction or areas with different geology could cause different results.