The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says it plans to post on its website soon an updated list of compounds associated with health problems that are used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. Water and a mix of chemicals are pumped under high pressure into the Marcellus Shale gas wells to break the rock and release the gas. Some of the water returns to the surface. Many are concerned that the return water and the water that remains underground could pollute drinking water supplies above and below ground and kill wildlife in surface water systems. The DEP says it should have the revised list online later this week. It is believed to be their first comprehensive list to be published. The list includes chemicals that are linked to neurological and other serious health effects. The list was compiled using data provided to the DEP by gas exploration companies. Those companies say the chemicals pose no environmental threat because they are captured and treated safely.
To review the current DEP list
UPDATE: JULY 2, 2010: The Associated Press is reporting that state environmental officials erred in an attempt to list chemicals used by natural gas drillers.