Maryland Attorney General to Sue Pennsylvania Company over Fracking Leak

A natural gas leak has contaminated the Susquehanna river.Maryland's attorney general says he plans on suing a Pennsylvania natural gas-drilling company over a leak that spilled thousands of gallons of hydraulic fracturing fluid into a creek that flows into the Susquehanna River, according to a press release.

The state has decided to file the toxic substance lawsuit since Maryland gets almost half of its drinking water from the Susquehanna River. In April, an equipment failure at a Chesapeake Energy drill site led to the spill, which allegedly dumped huge quantities of potentially toxic frack water into the creek.

In a letter to Chesapeake Energy, Attorney General Douglas Gansler told the company that Maryland intends to file a citizen suit and seek injunctive relief and civil penalties under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as well as the Clean Water Act.

"Companies cannot expose citizens to dangerous chemicals that pose serious health risks to the environment and to public health. We are using all resources available to hold Chesapeake Energy accountable for its actions," Gansler said in the statement.

The prevalence of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania has contaminated many of the state's water wells, according to Scientific American. The news source reported that researchers found high levels of methane in 51 of the 60 wells they tested in the Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Field Formation, which also includes sections of New York, Ohio and West Virginia.