By Andrew Schenkel
September 30, 2011
by Checks And Balances Project
The West Divide Creek Study is often mentioned as one of the clearest examples of chemicals from hydraulic fracturing wells making their way into local waterways. At the time Dr. Thyne was both a professor at the prestigious Colorado School of Mines and the county geologist for Garfield County, Colorado. He was asked to do the study after residents noticed gas bubbles popping up in the West Divide Creek.
The study aimed to find the cause of the bubbles, and the findings suggested a connection to the hydraulic fracturing taking place in the area. “The conclusion of the study was that there was a possibility that it was from deeper sources from the drilling activities. That combined with the fact that we were seeing very high chloride levels was found to be significant,” said Thyne when Schenkel interviewed him in early 2011. When Schenkel asked him why that was significant Thyne replied,
“The water found in these hydrocarbons) used in fracturing) is often very...