New EPA report shows high levels of hydrofracking related chemicals in Wyoming town's groundwater

A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency says groundwater monitoring wells in Pavillion, Wyoming show high levels of cancer causing compounds and chemicals associated with the controversial gas drilling technique called hydrofracking.

Hydrofracking involves highly pressurized water mixed with chemicals being injected into rock formations. Natural gas companies say that hydrofracking is safe and allows them to tap into large amounts of natural gas that would otherwise be inaccessible. Critics have said the chemicals from hydrofracking can contaminate groundwater and cause health dangers for neighbors.

Yesterday the EPA released new information about the monitoring wells they have had around Pavillion since 2008. There has been extensive natural gas drilling done in Pavillion over the past twenty years and there hundreds of gas wells in the area.

42 drinking water wells and 4 stock wells were monitored by the EPA. The report says the EPA found a compound called 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) in the wells. The EPA did not say how the contamination occurred but 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) is widely used as a hydrofracking solvent. The monitoring wells also found benzene, acetone, toluene, naphthalene and diesel fuel. The level of benzene was 50 times what is considered safe.

A report from ProPublica says the gas companies around Pavillion have denied that their gas drilling caused the contamination. The EPA says a draft report, including more information on interpretation of the results will be released in late November.