Contamination from Natural Gas Drilling Sparks Lawsuits, Investigations

Contamination from Natural Gas Drilling Sparks Lawsuits, Investigations by Laurie Villanueva, November 18, 2010, news inferno
Lawsuits and investigations involving water and other contamination associated with natural gas drilling, particularly hydraulic fracturing, are picking up momentum around the country. The national law firm of Parker Waichman Alonso LLP said yesterday that it and its partner firms, The Law Office of Michael Gleeson; Neblett, Beard & Arsenault; and the Becnel Law Firm, LLC, are representing dozens of individuals whose well water has been contaminated by natural gas drilling. The group says investigations are ongoing in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming and other states, and more lawsuits will be filed in the near future. Just last month, Parker Waichman Alonso LLP and its partners filed suit against Chesapeake Appalachia, LLP, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, and Nomac Drilling LLC on behalf of a woman from Bradford County, Pennsylvania alleging that her water well was contaminated due to gas drilling operations being conducted by those Defendants (Index #: 10 cv 000681). The same group of attorneys is also representing 13 families in adjacent Susquehanna County against Houston, Texas-based Southwest Energy Production Company and its parent, Southwestern Energy Company. The complaint alleges that gas exploration being conducted by Southwestern Energy near the Plaintiffs’ homes has contaminated their water wells (Civil Action No: 2010-1882CP).

The law firms are also investigating several instances of water contamination that may be associated with straight line drilling being performed by Anschutz Exploration and its contractor, R.W Consulting, in Big Flats, Chemung County, New York. Methane contamination in water wells for at least 10 homes has already been confirmed, but the number is expected to rise as more testing is completed. It is unknown at this time if the contamination is limited to methane, and test results for barium and other toxic substances are pending.

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