Urban Fold

Environmenal "Cost of Development" Felt in Western PA Township

Eliza Griswold profiles the economic, health, and environmental troubles of Amwell Township, PA, after an oil company moves in and begins fracking for natural gas.

"[Range Resources representative Matt] Pitzarella cited a study by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania that found that 40 percent of Pennsylvania's water wells had at least one pre-existing water-quality problem, and that there was no obvious influence on private water-well quality from fracking. In a previous study, 2 percent of the state's wells had arsenic levels that exceeded health standards.

Soon [resident Stacey] Haney and her kids began to notice that even outdoors it smelled a lot like the shower - a combination of sweet metal, rotten eggs and raw sewage. Talking to neighbors, Haney learned that atop a hill, about 1,500 feet from her home and less than 800 feet from that of her neighbor, Beth Voyles, there was an open, five-acre chemical impoundment filled with chemically treated water."

Full Story: The Fracturing of Pennsylvania

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