Texas Fracking Lawsuits Allege Water Contamination in the Barnett Shale

Texas Fracking Lawsuits Allege Water Contamination in the Barnett Shale by Laurie, December 16, 2010, news inferno
Two Texas lawsuits claim that hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett Shale has resulted in water contamination. One suit, filed on behalf of a Tarrant County resident, names Chesapeake Energy and Encana Oil & Gas as defendants. The second Texas fracking lawsuit, filed on behalf of a Denton County couple, names Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy, the largest gas producer in the Barnett Shale, as a defendant. … According to the Star-Telegram, the plaintiff who filed suit against Chesapeake Energy and Encana Oil & Gas claims that fracking of gas wells contaminated the groundwater that supplies her water well. As a result, she says she can no longer use water from her well “for consumption, bathing or swashing clothes” because of its odor and testing results that showed it was contaminated with chemicals. The Denton County fracking lawsuit alleges that “soon after” Devon “commenced drilling and fracking operations” their well water became “polluted with a gray sediment,” leaving it unfit for drinking, bathing or washing clothes, the Star-Telegram said. The plaintiffs also claim that the “same gray contaminated substance continues to be found” in water from a second well that was drilled after the first was allegedly ruined. Both lawsuits are pending before US District Judge Sam Lindsay of Dallas, the Star-Telegram said. A statement issued by the attorney representing the plaintiffs in both lawsuits also contends that water contamination in the Barnett Shale is widespread. The full scope of groundwater contamination in the Barnett Shale will not be known for some time; however it appears to be extensive, the statement said. “We believe that hundreds and more likely thousands of property owners have already had the water beneath their surface essentially ruined as a result of nearby drilling and fracking [hydraulic fracturing] in the Barnett Shale,” the statement continued. “This is why these damage lawsuits are being filed.”

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