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6 Investigates: Another 4,000 acres leased for Choke Canyon fracking

Posted: 5:48 PM, Dec 10, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-10 18:54:39-05

The federal government successfully auctioned more than 4,000 acres last week for oil and gas operations beneath Choke Canyon and now, fresh concerns that the plan could jeopardize our water supplies.

As we’ve reported before, the federal government owns mineral rights to millions of acres of land in the continental U.S. and from time to time, they auction off those lands to oil and gas developers. 

But when the government pushed last year to auction a little more than 1,000 acres of land beneath and next to Choke Canyon, city leaders and an environmental group filed formal protests.

The government auction went ahead, anyway. 

Since then, revelations the city earns millions in royalties on oil and gas production at the Canyon ​ have city leaders standing down amid assurances from federal officials that fracking activities will be closely monitored and will not pose a threat to the water supply. 

But now, new concerns that, while water contamination risks may be dismissed, there are undiscovered risks from fracking activities that might threaten the structural integrity of the dam, itself.

6 Investigates will be looking into those risks, and will check back with what we find.