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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

Contaminated Texas Drinking Water Linked to Faulty Shale Gas Wells

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014   

FORT WORTH, Texas - A new study finds contamination of drinking water in parts of Texas from the extraction of shale gas, but the primary cause is not what some people had feared.

Researcher Avner Vengosh says the contamination of the wells that they analyzed was not directly from the process of hydraulic fracturing deep underground, but from well-integrity problems such as poor casing and cementing.

"We can tell that the contamination derived from leaking of the shale gas wells, and therefore if those leaks could be fixed and corrected, this contamination could be avoided and stopped."

The sampling was conducted in 2012 and 2013 on 20 wells overlying the Barnett shale in Texas.

Vengosh says this study was unique because it employed a combination of noble gas and hydrocarbon tracers, allowing the researchers to distinguish between the signatures of naturally occurring methane and stray gas contamination from drill sites.

"We are trying to understand based on the best available scientific tools," says Vengosh. "We developed some new tools here, how we can do the correct monitoring for - and making sure that there are or are not in some cases - contamination."

The study, which also found the same issues with contaminated wells in Pennsylvania, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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