February 29, 2016
A three-year study by the University of Cincinnati has determined that natural gas drilling has had no effect on the quality of water coming from wells in Carroll County. However, the university does not plan to publicize the results, describing funders who were “disappointed” with the results.
Quotes from lead researcher Dr. Amy Townsend-Small of the University of Cincinnati, who presented the study’s findings.
- “The good news is that our study did not document that fracking was directly linked to water contamination.”
- “The samples that we collected that were very high in methane clearly did not have a natural gas source.”
- “Some of our highest observed methane concentrations were not near a fracking well at all.”
- The study determined that the methane was generated by subsurface coal beds, which underlie much of eastern Ohio.
According to the local newspaper, The Times-Record, an audience member asked if the university was going to publicize the results of the study, noting that had the findings been unfavorable to drilling, that would have been national news. Dr. Townsend-Small said, “I’m really sad to say this but some of our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results. They feel that fracking is scary and so they were hoping our data could point to a reason to ban it.”