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Panola County residents say ConocoPhillips fracking contaminated water

By by Elaine P. McPherson emcpherson@news-journal.com
Jan. 23, 2012 at 11 p.m.

CARTHAGE - Nearly 90 people in the Gary Tap/Shady Grove communities say ConocoPhillips Company drilling practices have contaminated their groundwater.

The group has filed a civil lawsuit in Panola County against the company.

The residents, who own property in the Haynesville Shale strata, said they could not drink their water or use it for daily activities.

The lawsuit claims ConocoPhillips contaminated the groundwater by not properly disposing of fracturing waste after drilling in the area.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a method of drilling that involves shooting chemical fluids underground.

ConocoPhillips disposed of its fracturing waste near the residents' properties, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs seek monetary relief in excess of $50,000, excluding costs, pre-judgements interest and attorney's fees.

ConocoPhillips began furnishing residents with potable water after they notified the company of the contamination. caused by the drilling. The company later told plaintiffs it would no longer provide the water.

The lawsuit claims negligence by ConocoPhillips.

Plaintiffs want to be compensated for water testing expenses, the cost of buying water from alternative sources and property damage.

The lawsuits says residents suffered loss of market value, loss of intrinsic value of well water into the future, emotional harm and mental anguish from deprivation of enjoyment due to the contaminated water.

Plaintiffs seek permanent injunction against defendants precluding future drilling and fracking activities near their land.



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