By Abrahm Lustgarten
August 10, 2011
This post has been updated with the industry’s response.
For years the drilling industry has steadfastly insisted that there has never been a proven case in which fracking has led to contamination of drinking water.
Now Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization engaged in the debate over the safety of fracking, has unearthed a 24-year-old case study  by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that unequivocally says such contamination has occurred. The New York Times reported  on EWG’s year-long research effort and the EPA’s paper Wednesday.
The 1987 EPA report , which describes a dark, mysterious gel found in a water well in Jackson County, W.Va., states that gels were also used to hydraulically fracture a nearby natural gas well and that “the residual fracturing fluid migrated into (the resident’s) water well.”