Water catching on fire makes a comeback

Updated

Rachel spoke to Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica last night about something you may not have heard much about recently: hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” an environmentally questionable (and I’m being kind) method of drilling for natural gas. (To learn all about it, just read the coloring book!)

There’s a national EPA standard for “fracking” forthcoming – but until then, we have findings like the one Mr. Lustgarten reported on earlier this week:

[A] separate government investigation into contamination in a place where residents have long complained that drilling fouled their water has turned up alarming levels of underground pollution.

A pair of environmental monitoring wells drilled deep into an aquifer in Pavillion, Wyoming, contain high levels of cancer-causing compounds and at least one chemical commonly used in hydraulic fracturing, according to new water test results released yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

This is exactly what many, including actor, activist and previous TRMS guest Mark Ruffalo (above), are trying to prevent. The folks he hopes to influence sit on the Delaware River Basin Commission, the multi-state federal agency created by President Kennedy to oversee water quality protection in an area covering sections of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. The five commissioners are the governors of those four states and Colonel Christopher Larsen, who votes on behalf of President Obama and the federal government.

All five will vote on Monday, November 21 to either allow “fracking” in the region, or to keep it untapped. Already, it seems some are preparing for environmental groups are bracing:

If the regulations are adopted in a November 21 vote in Trenton, New Jersey, Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum said legal action to block the regulations could be next. She said lawyers are examining the draft regulations for grounds for a possible lawsuit.

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more. The full interview with Lustgarten is after the jump.

 

Water catching on fire makes a comeback

Updated