Foul Water Leads to Court Methane Contamination from CBM

Foul Water Leads to Court Methane Contamination from CBM in High Country News, April 19, 1993
In a two-year study, USGS scientists found methane gas in one-third of water wells inspected and concluded that oil and gas drilling is the main source of contamination of the shallow aquifers in the Animas River Valley. …the BLM’s reaction reflects a long-standing refusal to trust evidence linking rising numbers of methane-contaminated private wells with the gas boom. …the report shows that “the industry isn’t anywhere near as competent in preventing that kind of contamination as they have led everyone -including regulators – to believe.” Based in part on the USGS report, lawyers representing hundreds of area residents filed a class-action lawsuit Feb. 11 charging four oil companies – Amoco Production Company, Meridian Oil Inc., Southland Royalty Company, and Phillips Petroleum – with recklessness and deliberate disregard for the safety of local residents. The suit says the four oil companies ignored their tests, which showed that methane from their deep wells was polluting shallow aquifers, and asks for both actual and punitive damages. [Emphasis added]

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