A couple of months ago, Laura Legere of the Scranton Times-Tribune published an article showing her research into determination letters sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) in response to people who claimed that their groundwater had been impacted by oil and gas activity in the state. Of the 973 complaints represented on this dataset, the PADEP has determined a causality between the oil and gas activity and the water complaint in 162 instances. Note that not all of these complaints are necessarily as a result of the hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking) stage of operations.
The FracTracker Alliance assisted in the project by creating an interactive map of the instances throughout the state. As the Scranton Times-Tribune has now made digital scans of each of the 973 records available on their servers, we have been able to link to them on the map.
Names, addresses, and other personal information about the complainants have been removed from this dataset in order to protect their privacy. And because the locations are drawn at the center-point of the municipality in which they live, we can get a general sense for the distribution of the events without being able to zoom in one the affected parties’ houses.
To get an idea of what the determination letters look like, here is one example in which the PADEP indicates that someone’s water supply has been impacted by gas drilling:
Here is the dynamic version of the map of the complaints:
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This updated data has also been added to the US Map of Suspected Well Water Impact project: