As the United States transitions into what may be a net exporter of oil and natural gas, states rich in those natural resources may be seeing an increase in the number of complaints of contamination of local water supplies by nearby oil and natural gas drilling. The Associated Press (AP) is conducting an investigation into the allegations stemming from complaints issued by residents in Texas, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

One obstacle the AP has encountered in tabulating their findings is that there is no standardized way to issuing complaints. Some states provide general information which makes it more difficult to differentiate between a complaint with merit and an allegation. The AP found that Texas provided the most detailed data on the complaints. In Pennsylvania, the number of complaints is trending lower. There were 398 formal complaints filed in 2013 down from 499 the previous year. The state has confirmed actual contamination in 100 locations over the past five years.

The emergence of a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, which allows a hole drilled in one location to have a far reaching radius, has led to a boom in oil and natural gas. On the flip side, it may also be leading to increased contamination of well-water.

On The Web:
Some states confirm water pollution from oil and gas drilling