Propublica: New Study: Fluids From Marcellus Shale Likely Seeping Into PA Drinking Water http://www.propublica.org/article/new-study-fluids-from-marcellus-shale-likely-seeping-into-pa-drinking-water
[Excerpted] New research has concluded that salty, mineral-rich fluids deep beneath Pennsylvania's natural gas fields are likely seeping upward thousands of feet into drinking water supplies.
Though the fluids were natural and not the byproduct of drilling or hydraulic fracturing, the finding further stokes the red-hot controversy over fracking in the Marcellus Shale, suggesting that drilling waste and chemicals could migrate in ways previously thought to be impossible.
...the brine's presence – and the finding that it moved over thousands of vertical feet -- contradicts the oft-repeated notion that deeply buried rock layers will always seal in material injected underground through drilling, mining, or underground disposal.
"The biggest implication is the apparent presence of connections from deep underground to the surface," said Robert Jackson, a biology professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and one of the study's authors. "It's a suggestion based on good evidence that there are places that may be more at risk."