$4.2 Million Fracking Verdict and Regulating Fracking Making Headlines

Fracking rig

It's interesting that two of our top stories today intersect when it comes to fracking and its effects on water. 

Bloomberg BNA reporter Rachel Leven just reported EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy saying that one of the biggest challenges in regulating hydraulic fracturing's impacts on water is lack of data.

The EPA leader also recognized the agency's limited jurisdiction over the activity anyway and said, “The only thing we regulate is when you use diesel as a fracking fluid.”

Rachel noted in her story that McCarthy's March 11 comments come days after the latest meeting by the agency's Science Advisory Board that is assessing the EPA's study of fracking risks to drinking water. Rachel's story is available for subscribers.

This news came 24 hours after a jury awarded $4.2 million to two Pennsylvania families who allege fracking operations by Cabot Oil & Gas contaminated their wellwater.

In this case, the jury found that the oil and gas company acted negligently in drilling fracking wells in Dimock, Pa., which created a private nuisance and significantly harmed the plaintiffs in their use and enjoyment of the property.

Bloomberg BNA reporter Peter Hayes covered the story and said a number of other families involved in the litigation settled before trial for a total amount less than what was awarded here.

Peter said that the case is one of the first fracking nuisance verdicts finding for plaintiffs, but it is not unprecedented. And the verdict could trigger the filing of similar lawsuits.

His story is available for subscribers.