Attorney J. Christopher Munley Says Drilling Companies Should List Chemicals Used in Marcellus Shale Gas Extraction

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EPA Study of fracking fluid could help protect public health, says Munley, a lawyer with the Pennsylvania law firm of Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C.

J. Christopher Munley

It's important that people know exactly what chemicals that hydraulic fracturing fluid contains and what those chemicals are doing to groundwater and our water supplies. A new look at the effects of hydraulic fracturing on public health is overdue.

Pennsylvania personal injury attorney J. Christopher Munley said drilling companies exploring for natural gas in the Marcellus shale should comply promptly with requests by federal environmental regulators to provide detailed information about the chemicals used underground to tap natural gas.

“It’s important that people know exactly what chemicals that hydraulic fracturing fluid contains and what those chemicals are doing to groundwater and our water supplies,” said Munley, whose law firm, Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C. represents accident and injury victims in Pennsylvania. “A new look at the effects of hydraulic fracturing on public health is overdue.”

According to The New York Times, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday sent letters to nine energy development companies asking for detailed information about the kinds of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. The process of hydraulic fracturing involves pumping millions of gallons of chemically-treated water underground under pressure to break up shale rock and release entrapped natural gas. The EPA is preparing a long-term study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing on water and public health.

The rapid expansion of the Marcellus shale drilling industry in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Maryland in recent years has caused numerous incidents involving spills of drilling wastewater and chemicals, pollution of streams and contamination of drinking water. Lawmakers in the affected states have repeatedly debated whether to allow more gas exploration.

The EPA asked the drilling companies to respond within seven days and provide the information voluntarily within 30 days. If the drilling companies refuse to comply, the EPA said it would explore legal alternatives to compel the release of the information. Drilling companies using hydraulic fracturing currently have an exemption from meeting requirements of the Clean Water Act aimed to protect drinking water supplies.

“The EPA study can help provide a firm scientific basis for regulation of toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and better protection of the environment and public health,” Munley said. “The drilling companies exploring in the Marcellus shale always say they don’t have anything to hide, so they should provide the requested information promptly."

About Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C.

Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., is a Pennsylvania law firm that represents victims and consumers in personal injury litigation, including automobile accidents, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents. The firm has more than 40 years experience in practicing personal injury law.

Munley, Munley & Cartwright, P.C., has offices in Scranton, Stroudsburg, Carbondale, Plains, Hazleton, Hamlin and Harrisburg. To contact the law firm, call 1 800-318-LAW1 or visit the firm’s website, http://www.Munley.com.

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