Congressional Hearing on EPA Fracking Research in Pavillion
The Environmental Protection Agency’s study of groundwater contamination and links to hydraulic fracturing in Pavillion was the topic of a U-S House subcommittee hearing Wednesday. No one locally affected was invited to the hearing, which was expected to include criticism of the E-P-A’s scientific approach.
Pavillion rancher, and chair of the group Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens, John Fenton says ever since the report tentatively linked fracking to pollution, the science has been attacked.
"And all this, while the people still sit here suffering the impacts, and have lately been pretty much forgotten in the political jousting that’s been going on."
Fenton says he and other area residents reached out to the E-P-A after not getting a satisfactory response from the state or industry.
A number of Pavillion residents believe their water wells have been contaminated by gas drilling and the hydraulic fracturing process.
Louis Meeks is one such resident. He took part in a teleconference that happened in advance of the congressional hearing and spoke about he and his wife's experience.
"We both have breathing problems and have been prescribed oxygen. When we take a shower, the bathroom has to be vented because of the explosive element of methane coming from the water well. We have to wash and rinse all our dishes with bottled water."
Meeks says he's thankful the E-P-A tested water supplies and he wants the agency to be allowed to continue its research and reporting.
Pavillion resident, Jeff Locker believes he's also been impacted and wants a chance to tell his story to Congress.
"I’m a little bit frustrated that a lot of times these hearings and meetings take place without inviting people from the local area to represent themselves."
Public comments on the E-P-A's report are being accepted through March 12th.
This Sunday on Report To Wyoming K2 Radio will feature excerpts from the teleconference with members of the group Pavillion Area Concerned Citzens. That's this Sunday at 7am on all of our Townsquaremedia stations and again at 9pm on K2 Radio AM 1030.