Water contamination is a big concern in some industries, and corporations engaged in activity that causes pollution to water sources have a social responsibility to clean up their act and reduce their waste and contamination contributions. There are also legal responsibilities for companies as well. At the federal level, for instance, there is the Clean Water Act, which has the purpose of preventing water pollution by holding companies accountable. States also have their own protections against contamination which must be followed. While the federal Clean Water Act is an important means for protecting water sources, there are other federal laws addressing groundwater contamination.
One industry which is generating a fair amount of concern over water contamination at present is the natural gas industry which is using hydraulic fracturing to access resources. Fracking is the process of drilling and injecting fluids deep into the ground at high pressure to force shale rocks to open and release natural gas reserves.
The chemicals used to create fracking fluid have raised major concerns among environmentalists due to their potential ability to pollute water supplies. In addition to the environmental impact, fracking is suspected to be behind various health complaints in Pennsylvania, and potentially elsewhere.
Some democratic members of congress recently sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, asking it to reopen an investigation into possible water contamination in Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Texas. Prior investigations in those states were cancelled in 2012 and 2013 before the agency could determine whether it was fracking that was causing regional contamination or some other cause.
Those who suffer due to water contamination have the right to be compensated for injuries and losses, and should contact an attorney who understands how to hold responsible parties accountable.
Source: Think Progress, “House Democrats Call On EPA To Investigate Fracking’s Link To Water Contamination In Three States,” Katie Valentine, April 3, 2014.