A new study by Stanford scientists published in Environmental Science & Technology finds that fracking operations in Wyoming had clear impact to underground sources of drinking water. The research paints a picture of unsafe practices including the dumping of drilling and production fluids containing diesel fuel, and high chemical concentrations in unlined pits with a lack of adequate cement barriers to protect groundwater. Drilling companies use proprietary blends that can include potentially dangerous chemicals such as benzene and xylene. When the wastewater comes back up after use, it often includes those and a range of potentially dangerous natural chemicals.
Concerns about this practice have riled the U.S. political landscape and
communities around the country, perhaps nowhere more so than in Pavillion,
Wyoming, population 231. As part of the so-called frackwater they inject into the ground, drilling companies use proprietary blends that can include potentially dangerous chemicals such as benzene and xylene. When the wastewater comes back up after use, it often includes those and a range of potentially dangerous natural chemicals.
"Decades of activities at Pavillion put people at risk. These are not best
practices for most drillers," said co-authorRob Jackson, the Michelle and Kevin
Douglas Professor at the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.
A new study of the effects of fracking in Canada, “Hydraulic Fracturing and
Seismicity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin” confirms the horizontal
drilling technique (which in essence creates an underground mini-earthquake to
open up fissures for oil and gas extraction) is responsible for earthquakes in
western Canada, above and beyond what is already canonized in the scientific
literature. Injecting fracking waste into underground wells can cause quakes. Now it's not just injections wells, but the fracking procedure itself being linked to seismic activity.
Polls in both Canada and the U.S. show a steady growth in opposition to fracking and the risks to drinking water it poses. Add the fact that fracking caused earthquakes are now common place and you have a very sound argument to end fracking.
View April 4, 2016 DeSmogBlog article
View March 30, 2016 Fusion article
View March 30, 2016 Gallup article
View March 29, 2016 Stanford News article
View March 29, 2016 DeSmogBlog article