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A few years ago, residents of the town of Pavilion began complaining of health problems that they blamed on water contamination. Many in the town wondered if local oil and gas development, as well as hydraulic fracturing – was to blame. This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released draft analysis of data on its ground water investigation in the town of Pavillion. The report indicates that ground water in the aquifer contains compounds that are “likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing.”
It’s the first time the EPA has ever said fracking could be responsible for contamination. Governor Matt Mead and those in industry say that the E-P-A is leaping to conclusions with limited study. But others see it differently. Wyoming Public Radio’s Tristan Ahtone interviewed John Fenton – a pavilion resident and chair of Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens. Fenton began by talking about how the EPA ended up in Pavillion: with the help of residents and organizers, those in the community were able to get the EPA to listen after the state turned a deaf ear.