Summary-AVID Article Format
- The Truth About Fracking
- Fracking, act of drilling underground for natural gas, may be contaminating areas such as groundwater reserves and public water supply
- Pressurized water and chemicals are pumped underground into shale level, where gases are kept, and shale is cracked to release air
- Controversy in NY situation - EPA allowing 85% of state shale to be used by drilling companies despite incomplete research evidence that backs up the dangers of fracking
- Fracking uses large amounts of chemicals, water, resources, trucks, pumps; only 75% of water returns during flowback stage, other 25% lost
- Contamination could be caused by cracked cement protection on pipes, or fissures appearing due to pressure cracking the ground
- Cementing is most suspected cause of methane contamination in water supply and old ducts
- Water may not flow back after pump, and contaminated water may stay in pump and leak to nearby areas
- Could wait for EPA studies on 5 fracking situations that may debunk the fracking and contamination problem
- Solve fracking by creating models and simulators that simulate fracking and its effects, but no powerful commercial modelsare available (besides Tough 2, a non-commercial model)
- Or use indicators/tracers put into water to track when fracking leaks and contaminates water by searching for the tracer in affected areas
Natural gas drilling, or fracking, is the process of drilling into the deep shale layer and pumping water and chemicals to crack rock and liberate natural gas reserves. Of course, the sheer thought of cracking rock underground leaves many uneasy, and this feeling could certainly be justified - contamination in water reserves from natural gas has been reported in numerous areas nearby fracking zones that have left taps and outlets unable to be used. Drilling companies shrug this off, however, since the main cause of contamination is faulty cementing, and cementing isn't classified as a fracking problem. This is why the EPA is seeking to research on the dangers of fracking, along with other experts that are trying to debunk the controversy of the practice.
As far as I know, this situation just sounds like an industry/company putting up excuses so they can further their economic success while exploiting and damaging others. Not only are drilling companies ignoring the issue, they are also setting themselves up for failure; delaying the inevitable backlash that will come with the information that proves that fracking poisons water supplies. I hope that the EPA research is finished soon so other alternatives can be sought that deal with natural gas extraction, other than using fracking and risking the health of the public.