Sunday, November 17, 2013

Baseline Water Well Testing for San Miguel County Completed PRE Drilling

For Immediate Release

From: Drilling Mora County

San Miguel County Completes Baseline Water Testing.

San Miguel County recently became the second county in the US to perform proactive baseline water testing in defense against oil and natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

Mora County was the first county to complete such testing in 2010.  These tests included sampling for 14 water wells which included private wells and mutual domestic water consumers associations in the Las Vegas Basin, Mora County.

The San Miguel County testing, which was spearheaded by Drilling Mora County, DMC,  included well sites in the Trementina and Las Vegas basins on or near properties targeted by the natural gas industry for fracking. It was  funded by a grant to DMC from the McCune Foundation.

The Committee for Clean Water, Air and Earth, CCWAE, helped locate sites in San Miguel County for the five wells tested.

Certified water sampling professional Walter Drew of Indepth Water Testing, Santa Fe, and the New Mexico State certified drinking water lab, Hall Environmental Analytical Laboratory, Albuquerque, New Mexico, ran the procedures on the water wells.

Communities and landowners across the United States have experienced groundwater contamination in the wake of fracking activities that has in many cases rendered their water unusable due to the presence of toxic chemicals such as benzene, toluene and methane. Some have sued the fracking companies. The first defense of the fracking industry has been the claim that since there had been no water testing done prior to fracking, there was no way to prove that the toxic chemicals were not already present before the fracking occurred.

Notice of the baseline water well testing procedure was sent to the San Miguel County Commissioners earlier this month.  November 13th the commission unanimously voted to extend their oil/gas moratorium another six months.

The baseline water testing performed in San Miguel County specifically identifies and quantifies chemical toxins known to be used in the drilling and fracking process. The presence of baseline data on water purity in San Miguel County will likely discourage the fracking industry from activities in San Miguel County which risk polluting local groundwater, wells and aquifers.

Diane Lindsay is a CCWAE organizer who helped organize well sites on this project. “It's a very important thing to do, “ said Lindsay,  “testing the water before the industry moves in and fracks. It should be the rule, and not the exception.”

Kathleen Dudley, DMC, co-founder, has organized both Mora and San Miguel County’s testing. “Proactive, educational grassroots actions make a difference in protecting our communities, says, Dudley.  “It is all about getting involved now, before damage occurs.”   575 666 2529