CHEYENNE (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the first time has implicated a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells in causing groundwater pollution.
The practice is called hydraulic fracturing and involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures
and improve the flow of oil or gas.
The EPA announced Thursday that it found compounds likely
associated with "fracking" chemicals in the groundwater beneath the town of Pavillion, a small community in central Wyoming where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals. Health officials last year advised them not to drink their water after the EPA found low levels hydrocarbons in their wells. The EPA ruling could have a chilling effect in states trying to determine how to regulate the controversial process.