EPA "Eyes on Drilling" Tip Line Reveals Extent of Fracking Fears

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
In February 2011, a resident of a western Pennsylvania town noticed that her water was black and "had a very strong metallic odor."
That same month, in Texas, several people in one neighborhood smelled rotten eggs and experienced symptoms that ranged from nausea to face paralysis. And in West Virginia, one resident accused an oil and gas company of kidnapping a neighbor to obtain permission for drilling rights.
Ranging from credible to dubious, from coherent to irrational, the hundreds of tips that U.S. EPA received through its "Eyes on Drilling" tip line paint an eclectic picture of the fears that plague residents who live near oil and natural gas developments. For the last three years, people called and emailed the agency at all times of the day and night to report illegal dumping, suspicious smells and cloudy water.
EPA's Region 3 office in Philadelphia launched the tip line at the start of 2010 in the hope that it would lead to useful information about hydraulic fracturing, a controversial process for extracting gas that is becoming increasingly popular. Though EPA has no direct jurisdiction over the permitting for so-called fracking -- in which chemical-laced water is used to break apart rock formations -- the agency does enforce regulations to protect air and water resources.
EPA got flooded with calls the day it launched the tip line, according to logs obtained by Greenwire through a Freedom of Information Act request. Many came from Pennsylvania, where oil companies are using fracking to tap previously inaccessible oil and gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale formation.
Read the rest of this interesting article by clicking here.

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