Lawsuit: 'Fracking' Fluid From Gas Drilling in Marcellus Shale Tainted Water Wells

By: MICHAEL RUBINKAM and MARY ESCH
Associated Press

ALLENTOWN, PA. — Thirteen families in the heart of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale say their water wells have been contaminated by poisonous fluids blasted deep underground by a drilling company using a technique at the center of a fierce nationwide debate.

A faulty gas well drilled by Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co. leaked toxic fracking fluid into local groundwater in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County, exposing residents to dangerous chemicals and sickening a child, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The lawsuit — one of the first in the nation to link hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to tainted groundwater — said the well’s cement casing was defective. It also cites spills of industrial waste, diesel fuel and other hazardous substances.

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