A comprehensive study conducted by the University of Cincinnati found that fracking does not impact methane levels in groundwater. 

The study was recently published in the journal Environmental Monitoring Assessment. 

The study looked at natural gas methane (CH4) levels prior to drilling and then after. Samples were taken over three years from five Ohio counties at the center of the Utica Shale boom including Columbiana, Stark, Carroll, Harrison and Belmont. 

The results of testing found no relationship between CH4 concentration in groundwater and proximity to active gas well sites and that high levels of CH4 can be present in groundwater wells independent of hydraulic fracturing activity.

Investigators said continued monitoring of private drinking water wells is critical to ensure that groundwater quality is not altered as hydraulic fracturing activity continues in the region.