Fracking cover-up continues groundwater contamination disaster in Pavillion, Wyoming

Eric Warren

How tumult over a draft EPA report on fracking-related water contamination has given Wyoming a pass on fixing groundwater polluted by traditional gas drilling.

Note: This story originally appeared in the Living with Oil and Gas project which features “stories of people whose lives are impacted by oil and gas development.” The situation has yet to be resolved, leaving several Pavillion, Wyoming, families without drinking water. Currently, another freshwater pollution disaster looms as the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has moved to exempt the freshwater Madison Aquifer from protected status in order to allow Aethon Energy to inject millions of gallons of untreated wastewater from the Moneta Divide oil and gas field into it.

Sue Spencer, a hydrogeologist based in Laramie, Wyoming, looks down from a sandy bluff on a two-football-field-sized swath of cleared land that designates a capped natural gas well. Two men in unmarked blue coveralls and…

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