A new academic study linking the amount of radon present in a home to its proximity to deep-shale oil and gas “fracking” wells cites Athens County as having the most of these wells in the state of Ohio, with 108.Click here to read more.
There’s one problem with that statistic: Athens County does not have 108 deep-shale fracking wells. In fact, it has zero. The number of horizontally drilled fracking wells in some eastern Ohio counties shown on a map that’s part of the study also appears to be incorrect.
Mark Bruce, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resource Management, said Friday that the agency is working with the University of Toledo researchers who performed the radon/fracking study “to get their numbers right.”
It's unclear whether correcting the numbers of deep-shale fracking wells in the study will alter the conclusions of the study.
This study has been widely publicized on the internet, although the drastic errors it contains in listing what is basic, publicly available information the number of wells in various counties has not been reported as much. It's obviously difficult to put much stock in the conclusions of the study when those behind it make such thoughtless mistakes, especially when the conclusions are all about proximity to shale wells. If their numbers on wells are wildly inaccurate, then how accurate is the information they are using and providing regarding where the wells are located in relation to the locations that the radon data was sampled?
As the study abstract notes, the methodology of the information-gathering also calls into question the study's accuracy and impartiality, as all numbers were self-reported and subject to response bias.