Texas Family Wins Landmark USD-3-Million Verdict Against Hydraulic Fracturing FirmSource: PR Newswire | 23 April 2014
A Dallas jury awarded a local family USD 3 million for the illnesses they suffered from exposure to contaminated ground water, solid toxic waste, and airborne chemicals generated by natural gas hydraulic fracturing operations surrounding their 40-acre ranch.
The verdict against Aruba Petroleum is seen as a landmark decision for opponents of hydraulic fracturing, the process of drilling and injecting high-pressure fluid into the ground in order to fracture shale rock to release natural gas. Up to 600 chemicals are used in fracturing fluid, including several known carcinogens and other toxins. According to studies, only 30 to 50% of the fracturing fluid is recovered in an operation. The rest of the toxic fluid is left to penetrate the ground and is not biodegradable.
Robert and Lisa Parr, along with their young daughter, began experiencing health problems in 2009, after Aruba began drilling the first of 20 wells that the company operates less than 2 miles from the Parr’s ranch near Decatur, Texas, about 45 miles northwest of Fort Worth.