A debate about hydraulic fracturing fracking and its environmental impact

The technological breakthrough in fracking, combined with directional drilling, has unleashed massive new supplies of shale oil and natural gas, cutting domestic and global energy prices dramatically, improving U. Tens of thousands of shale wells have been drilled across the United States over the past few years, making hydraulic fracturing a part of everyday life for many Americans.

A debate about hydraulic fracturing fracking and its environmental impact

Air emissions[ edit ] A report for the European Union on the potential risks was produced in Potential risks are " methane emissions from the wells, diesel fumes and other hazardous pollutants, ozone precursors or odours from hydraulic fracturing equipment, such as compressors, pumps, and valves".

Also gases and hydraulic fracturing fluids dissolved in flowback water pose air emissions risks. These pollutants have been shown to affect fetal outcomes. For example, communities overlying the Marcellus shale have higher frequencies of asthma. Children, active young adults who spend time outdoors, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.


OSHA has also raised concerns about the long-term respiratory effects of occupational exposure to airborne silica at fracking sites.

Silicosis can be associated with systemic autoimmune processes. Natural gas may only be vented for safety reasons. Acute and chronic cancer risks were dominated by emissions from the chemical storage tanks within a 20 m radius. Some studies have found that hydraulic fracturing has higher emissions due to methane released during completing wells as some gas returns to the surface, together with the fracturing fluids.

Depending on their treatment, the well-to-burner emissions are 3. Howarth finding shale gas significantly worse for global warming than oil or coal. Additional water is used when wells are refractured.

Concern has been raised over the increasing quantities of water for hydraulic fracturing in areas that experience water stress. Use of water for hydraulic fracturing can divert water from stream flow, water supplies for municipalities and industries such as power generationas well as recreation and aquatic life.

In addition to water savings, gas fracturing reportedly produces less damage to rock formations that can impede production. The technique is relatively expensive, however, since the water must be treated before each reuse and it can shorten the life of some types of equipment.

While most of them are common and generally harmless, some chemicals are carcinogenic. Further research is needed to identify both carcinogenic potential of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and their cancer risk.

Part of the wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations is processed there by public sewage treatment plants, which are not equipped to remove radioactive material and are not required to test for it. The runoff can also end up in groundwater systems. Groundwater may become contaminated by trucks carrying hydraulic fracturing chemicals and wastewater if they are involved in accidents on the way to hydraulic fracturing sites or disposal destinations.

Regulations call for all pollution pathways to be identified and mitigated. The use of chemical proof drilling pads to contain chemical spills is required. In the UK, total gas security is required, and venting of methane is only permitted in an emergency. This however was not caused by the hydraulic fracturing process, but by poor cementation of casings.

Using a more precise isotopic analysis, they showed that the methane found in the water wells came from both the formations where hydraulic fracturing occurred, and from the shallower formations. Naturally occurring radioactive material There are naturally occurring radioactive materials NORMfor example radiumradon[77] uraniumand thorium[52] [78] [79] in shale deposits.

Environmental Protection Agency and regulators in North Dakota consider radioactive material in flowback a potential hazard to workers at hydraulic fracturing drilling and waste disposal sites and those living or working nearby if the correct procedures are not followed.

Each pad could have 24 separate wells. This amounts to 0. Average land impact per well was 3 hectares about 7 acres [85] Research indicates that effects on ecosystem services costs i. These microseismic events are often used to map the horizontal and vertical extent of the fracturing. In Canada, there have been three in Alberta M 4.

Inthere were 50 earthquakes greater than magnitude 3. In there were earthquakes in the same area, a sixfold increase over 20th century levels. The overall increase was tied to earthquake increases in a few specific areas: In addition, noise is created by transport related to the hydraulic fracturing activities.

Indigenous and agricultural communities may be particularly impacted by fracking, given their historical attachment to, and dependency on, the land they live on, which is often damaged as a result of the fracking process. The main limitation is the difficulty in developing effective monitoring procedures and protocols, for which there are several main reasons: Variability among fracking sites in terms of ecosystems, operation sizes, pad densities, and quality-control measures makes it difficult to develop a standard protocol for monitoring.

These cumulative effects can be difficult to measure, as many of the impacts develop very slowly.The process of fracking creates fractures that extend from wells into oil and gas formations by pumping highly-pressurized fluid--water, sand, ceramic beads, and a mixture of chemicals--into the.

Hydrofracking is a controversial oil and gas extraction technique developed in the late s to gain access to fossil energy deposits previously inaccessible to drilling operations. The process, "hydraulic fracturing", literally involves the smashing of rock with millions of gallons of water--along with sand and a undisclosed assortment of .

For some Americans, it is our energy dreams come true. To others, it is an environmental nightmare. Ever since a new drilling technology, called hydraulic fracturing or fracking, made it possible to extract natural gas from shale deposits about a mile underground, a new gold rush has been under way.

DUNDEE: Fracking experts debate economic, environmental impact. STARKEY--More than residents attended the Starkey town board sponsored debate on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) between Dr.

Terry Engelder of Penn State and Dr. Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell University Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Dundee Central High School Auditorium.

A debate about hydraulic fracturing fracking and its environmental impact

J ust a decade ago, only the smallest sliver of the U.S. population had even heard of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Today, it’s one of the most incendiary environmental topics going. Today, it’s one of the most incendiary environmental topics going. Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing in the United States of shale include the potential contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the potential migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, the potential mishandling of waste, and the health effects of these, such as cancer.

Fracking experts debate economic, environmental impact - barnweddingvt.com