The gas companies insist fracking has nothing to do with the wave of illnesses in the Marcellus Shale communities, yet people with strange symptoms continue to die. We don't know how many more, because when the people whose water was contaminated by the drilling get a clean water supply, they sign a legal agreement not to talk about it anymore:
Fracktivist Carl Stiles, of Bradford County, PA, died last night, after living with illnesses caused by shale gas drilling. Mr. Stiles was forced to move away from his Bradford County home as an environmental refugee.
Carl Stiles had intestinal cancer which he blamed on Chesapeake’s gas drilling. He and his wife abandoned their home last November at the urging of a toxicologist who found barium, arsenic, and VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) in Carl’s blood. Strontium, uranium and radium were found in their water. They’ve been told to expect to get leukemia within two years.
The radioactivity level in their home was almost 7 times the EPA standard limit. The Stiles were forced to abandon their home and all the possessions in it. Carl died of intestinal cancer on January 26, 2012.
Meanwhile, under the heading of "locking the barn door after the horse is out":
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. has offered to meet with US Environmental Protection Agency representatives to discuss the EPA’s plans to test the water wells of some homes in Dimock, Pa., a township within the Marcellus shale play where Cabot has done hydraulic fracturing.
EPA has said it will test water in the area to determine whether residents are being exposed to hazardous substances that cause health concerns.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Cabot Chairman, Pres., and Chief Executive Officer Dan Dinges said Cabot has worked closely with the Dimock community in northern Pennsylvania and with state and local regulators.
“We are concerned that EPA’s actions can be easily misinterpreted and can undermine regulatory certainty necessary for development of oil and gas,” Dinges said.
This marks the second recent case in which EPA has tested water wells in the area of gas exploration and production.