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Pennsylvania DEP Concludes Gas Drilling Not to Blame for Private Water Well Contamination in Franklin Forks

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reportedly concluded that high levels of methane found in three private water wells in Franklin Forks (Susquehanna County) are not attributable to the nearby gas drilling operations of WPX Energy.  DEP conducted an extensive 16-month investigation which included isotopic testing to determine the origin of methane found in the private water wells.  Meanwhile, WPX voluntarily provided residents with replacement water supplies.  Based on the agency’s own investigation, DEP determined that the elevated methane in the private water wells can be attributed to naturally-occurring methane in the area.  The Franklin Forks case has drawn significant media attention partly because the town is located just 10 miles from the border of New York State, where the fracking debate continues at full steam.