The Human Story

This page is dedicated to compiling the reports of people dealing with water contamination, air pollution, loss of property value, and sickness due to fracking near their homes.   The Academy Award nominated movie Gasland documented the experiences of people with hydraulic fracturing principally in the Western US.  Reports are coming in now that the same kind of incidents are occurring in the Marcellus shale region i.e. New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio.  Now that the rich Utica shale in Ohio is in play, we expect to have more stories from that state.

The Woodell story, Taylor Co – a spill of industrial fluid occurred above the Woodell spring.  But the family wasn’t notified and no information is forthcoming from EQT or the WVDEP.
Dennis and Tamera Hagy, Jackson Co. The family in Romance, WV has filed suit claiming that the neurologic disease they suffer is the result of ingesting contaminated water from their well.
Marcellus Drilling by Antero on Indian Run in Harrison County at 1:58 AM at Night – You Tube
Video of drilling by Antero on Indian Run, Harrison Co.

Danny and Sharon Kinney, Doddridge County – Their well water is contaminated with arsenic and lead.  3/8/2012


Bradford County. On the Water and More blog, the impacts on families in Bradford County are recounted.  Among those , the well water at the home of Carl Stiles and his wife Judy was contaminated with heavy metals. A toxicologist found barium, arsenic, and VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) in Carl’s blood. Strontium, uranium and radium were found in their water. The radiation level in the home is 13.7 or 7 times that set by EPA as a standard not to be exceeded. Carl died of intestinal cancer on January 26, 2012.  He blamed the cancer on the contaminated water.  Judy developed stomach pain and skin rashes and continues to be afflicted with pain after moving from the home.  Both Judy and Carl were told by their doctor to expect to die of leukemia within 2 years.  Here is their story in a letter written by Carl and Judy.

Kim McEvoy, Connoquenessing Township, Butler Co, PA.  Her water is contaminated with arsenic and methyl chloride.  8-10-11
Crystal Stroud testimony, Bradford Co, PA public meeting
April 28, 2011
“Our family is just collateral damage.”
The Haney family suffered serious illness from arsenic poisoning.  Stacey Haney, of Washington County, PA., Registered Nurse and Mom of two teen age children shared her family’s experiences living nearby to a Marcellus Gas drilling site and a seven acre impoundment pool. The family had leased their land to Range, after being promised there would be no problems. But problems soon became apparent. Stacey’s dog and the neighbor’s dog both died. Their goat, with two young also died. An autopsy reveled arsenic in the neighbor’s dog. The assumption was the animals were sickened by arsenic contaminated waste water from Range’s drilling activities. Stacey’s horse became sick. Stacey and her children also became sick. Her son was twice hospitalized with stomach (liver and kidney) pain, nausea, fatigue and mouth ulcers, forcing him to remain out of school for a year and a half. Stacey and her daughter experienced similar symptoms. Both were tested for arsenic poisoning. Stacey suffered high levels and her daughter lower levels of arsenic poisoning. The water smelled bad Stacey said, and later, after the family started using bottled water, their symptoms receded.  After being contacted by Stacey the PADEP found Ethel glycol and arsenic in water samples. She said DEP was not helpful.

The Hallowich Family, Hickory, Pa.   Story with photos.

The Hallowich Family, a National Geographic story on how water contamination and industrialization of a rural area has ruined one family’s dream.
Joyce Mitchell, Hickory, Pa. Joyce has garnered financial gain from leasing to Range Resources but endures the smell of fumes and has concerns about the safety of her drinking water.
Pennsylvania Farmers Terry Greenwood and Ron Gulla in Washington County Relate How Drilling Has Ruined Water and Caused Cattle Deaths

Jeremiah Gee, Tioga County.  Family’s well water is contaminated with thermogenic methane following well completion (fracking) operations by Shell.


Jan. 17, 2012 Three years after drilling, feds say natural gas in Medina County well water is potentially explosive.

Medina County families fight against water well contamination


Ignitable Tap Water, Candor, NY (You Tube)

Smith Family, water contamination,Dish, Texas
Calvin Tillman and other residents of Dish, Texas. Mayor Tillman decided to move from Dish rather than live in a place that was making his sons sick.
Rebekah Sheffield, Dish

Amber Smith and Family, Dish, Texas Their water became contaminated with sediment, arsenic, lead, butanone, acetone, carbon disulfide, strontium, as well as other heavy metals, all above safe drinking water standards.
Parker County,Texas


Susan Wallace-Babb, Parachute, Colo.  ”On a summer evening in June 2005, Susan Wallace-Babb went out into a neighbor’s field near her ranch in Western Colorado to close an irrigation ditch. She parked down the rutted double-track, stepped out of her truck into the low-slung sun, took a deep breath and collapsed, unconscious.”  Propublica story Science Lags as Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields.

The Greens and the Strudleys, Video by NY Times The Greens decided to move from Garfield County and experiencing illness and losing chickens and goats.
Laura Amos, Garfield Co, Colorado.  Laura developed an adrenal tumor of a rare type associated with exposure to a fracking fluid chemical.  Her water was contaminated but she was told that it was safe.


See the web-site by David Katz on the activities on the Beartooth Mountain front:


Louis Meeks, Pavillion, WyoChris Velasquez, Blanco, New Mexico

Rosebud, Alberta Jessica Ernst claims that her water was contaminated with toxic compounds by nearby hydrofracking.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Belcastro August 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm

A few additions.

Beth Voyles – Amwell Township, Washington County PA

June Chapel – Hopewell Township, Washington County PA

Pam Judy – Carmichaels, Greene County.

Phyllis Car – Fayette County, PA (on your own page)

University of Pittsburgh’s CHEC documentary project


jan milburn January 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm
Molly Bushart March 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Nice post. I will be continuously checking this site and I am inspired! Extremely useful info especially the last part


Informed Citizen March 13, 2012 at 12:51 am

Here’s a human story for you. The industry mouthpieces say that they can’t hire West Virginians because they can’t pass a drug screening. In less than a months time, a drug-addicted gas worker from Oklahoma used his vehicle as a weapon to murder a veteran police officer and a drug-addicted gas worker from Texas caused a major accident on the interstate, sending three people to the hospital.


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Matheus August 14, 2012 at 4:37 am

I live in a state where gas drilling is totaly out of control. Individuals negotiating contracts for drilling on their lands might want to do some reading about the experiences of those who live in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah. Don’t let anyone tell you this method of drilling is not responsible for the release of pollutants into the air. I have been awakened on many a summer’s night to the smell of illegal venting from a nearby gas drilling pad, and who is responsible for monitoring this? In addition, drilling companies have rightfully earned the reputation of failing to uphold their promises to repair damages done to property in the process of setting up wells. In the southwest U.S., the large influx of gas and oil workers also introduced the scourge of methamphetamine. Gas drilling is ugly. The state of Colorado is currently holding public hearings regarding stricter control of gas drilling for a reason. The state of New Mexico unfortunately is a lost cause.


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Bryan Ashley  July 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm

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Dakota Collette August 9, 2012 at 2:36 am

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Rebecca September 19, 2012 at 2:09 am

Hey my name is Rebecca, and I’m a student, and this blog really gave me an understanding of how fracking affects families. I’m now concerned! Thanks very much!


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Dee Ann Lohr December 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm

I like looking through an article that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!


Jammie Greenfield January 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Thanks a lot for providing us average citizens with an extraordinarily interesting source of personal experiences. These people are at the mercy of forces beyond the control of state agencies. And definitely, I think this information should be known widely.


Noel Lawless January 21, 2013 at 4:02 am

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Faye January 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

Really liked what you had to say in your post, The Human Story, thanks for the good read!
— Faye


Lew Angeles January 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Excellent posts here, I just discovered, but I was wondering if you could write a litte more and keep these stories up to date?

I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more as well. The details are important. Cheers!


Ferris Huber February 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I have read these stories about the experiences of the rural residents of WV. Many would consider them horror stories which would make a shocking movie, if the full truth of their reality could be conveyed onto the screen, with the trucks, rattles, noises, and odors going 24/7.

Why does the Governor close his eyes to these severe and extreme conditions in which the local landowners are at the mercy of the mineral owners, large gas companies, drilling and fracking contractors, pipeline companies, compressor station owners, and seismic survey teams? Remember when your land was yours alone, for a private home free of invasion!


Lindsay May 8, 2013 at 3:26 am

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Nora Peters May 14, 2013 at 10:04 am

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I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time reading, researching, and discussing.

But so what, it is still very much worthwhile!


S. T. June 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm

This was helpful for me and it really gave me allot to think about.

While I am generally busy with my work, I think it is important to

try and keep up with all that is going on without much regulation.

Roads, dust, potholes, streams, brine, frack wastewater, radioactivity,

noise, lights, trucks, trucks, trucks ……

……. where does it end ………..

Thanks for this!


Stepanie July 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm

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Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!


Jenelle Apker July 14, 2013 at 12:06 am

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C. T. Ruhrer August 18, 2013 at 6:43 am

The Human Story has really been on my mind since reading your post here.


Kelly August 18, 2013 at 10:02 am

You can see photos and videos online of the air and water pollution in Lochgelly WV caused by the dumping of toxic and radioactive fracking wastewater from other areas into sediment pits. These pits are located only a mile or so from public schools and residential neighborhoods. The pollution has been going on for years and the WV DEP OOG seems to be in denial about the entire situation, and putting a lot of energy into protecting the natural gas industry instead of the people who are suffering. See for yourself:


Cora Geery November 15, 2013 at 7:35 am

I’m impressed, I need to say. This information is so very important, it must be understood in Houston, Columbus, and Washington.


C.A.Ridge January 13, 2014 at 2:33 am

Please make this information available to your post.

Here in Britain our government has opened the door to Fracking companies.

TOTAL is a French company and has been given a contract to start fracking here in Britain. However, ……

Please note that Fracking is banned in France.


D. G. Showalter February 19, 2014 at 10:07 am

I like it when folks get together and share ideas.

Great site, continue the good work!


Bev Ketchum February 21, 2014 at 10:23 am

Way cool! Some extremely valid points!

I appreciate your publishing these reports;

and also the rest of the site is very good.


David Katz March 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Thank you for an excellent site and the diverse coverage articles.

My site on drilling activity along the Beartooth Front in Montana:

Best wishes from Montana, David Katz


Ashly Fredrickson April 8, 2014 at 9:50 am

Personally I am a victim to fracking pollution here in Alberta in Canada. My house dwells dead center between two gas sites on my neighbours properties. The first went up three years ago across the river and they directional drilled under the river to our property because we wouldnt allow them to set up on our property. Then last summer the other went up across the road from our house only 200 meters away and they also directional drilled under our property.

They stopped by with information on where they were drilling and what not. Well somewhere within those last few years they hit our well and we didnt understand why our water was coming out of the tap in air bubbles hissing and spraying until we took a lighter to it and it blew blue flame.

Somehow they leaked gas into our well and god only knows what else. My horses lost their mane hair and my Pomeranian lost all her hair and developed a heart condition that she relies on medication for and coughs to the point she cant breathe and I cant help her. Myself and my mother started lost hair and it would just break off and our skin was rashy and oily and break out.

This summer I often laid in bed with my window open and could hear when they would flare at the site as it was right out my window. Id be woken up by the smell and fumes that id suffer the summer heat n close my window. I bathed in this water for years and drank it and cooked with it.

I have a large pool and used the water to fill it and it didn’t take long to develop an oily black ring around the water line, this is where I spent most of my time. I always had a full time job where as my mother was always home and I often wondered why she and my dogs were always so tired never leaving the house. now I’ve moved out with my fiancee to the town down the river and my hair is growing back and my skin feels better but my stomach is often in pain and I generally feel ill and wonder if its an effect of.being poisoned for so long.

Also being down stream where I know they drilled under the river at my property I wonder if this poison is leaking into this river that this town also gets all of its water from so am I still being poisoned? Recently a film crew showed up at my work to interview me and my mother and we took them and showed them our flamable tap water and since some alberta government officials have been in contact to go after husky oil and gas for many different areas in alberta. We are all banning together against them.

And I’m not against all this oil and gas stuff, my fiancee is a truck driver who hauls the liquid nitrogen to these fracking sites, I’m simply against that this company has poisoned my family and ruined our beautiful river front property, now uninhabitable because there is no fixing our well. They would drill right back into the same water source thats contaminated. They never tested our well prior to fracking even though they are within the distance. Here’s to hoping we get to the bottom of this….


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