Hydraulic fracturing is a method of drilling and fracturing layers of rock deep below the ground. Modern gas and oil drilling is a process of drilling many thousands of feet down into shale rock, then drilling laterally for many more hundreds or thousands of feet and pumping in a mix of water, mud and chemicals at high pressure to break the shale apart and free up oil and gas for extraction.
Drillers inject high-pressure fluids into a hydraulic fracturing well, making slight fissures in the shale that release natural gas. The resulting briny wastewater flows back up to the surface, where it is transported by truck or pipeline to nearby injection wells. The liquid is then pumped down the injection wells to a layer of deep, porous rock, often sandstone. Once there, it can flow in every direction, including into and around faults. Added pressure and lubrication can cause normally stable faults to slip, unleashing earthquakes.
The water well company used hydrofracturing to put in my well. Why is fracked gas different?
Yes. Modern deep wells are installed using hydrofracturing. The primary difference between the purity of your clean drinking water and the impurity of fracked gas is the chemicals used to extract the gas from the rocks.
• Although the industry lists 60 chemicals as “most commonly used” (), there are over 600 chemicals used in the process, including EDCs (endocrine disrupting chemicals which affect fertility and hormone regulation), known carcinogens and neurotoxins. (Source)
• One class of chemicals used is surfactants, which dissolve cell walls to allow cell permeability. These have the same affect on plants, animals and people.
• Fracked gas is packed into the pipelines at high pressure, increasing the likelihood of leaks, ruptures and/or explosions. Major effects of these accidents vary from collapsed structures and injuries and sustained fire supplied by the fuel in the pipeline in the case of explosions, to environmental contamination and health impacts from volatile chemical additives from non-exploding leaks. (Source)
• Although touted as a safer form of gas transportation, there have been over 990 natural gas transmission line accidents deemed “Significant”, with 137 injuries and 34 fatalities since 2000. (Source)
• Chemicals used in the process of transmitting fracked gas through pipelines are known to off-gas at compressor stations along the pipeline. These include benzene, dimethyldisulfide, ethyl-methylethyl disulfide, trimethyl benzene, diethyl benzene, tetramethyl benzene, carbon disulfide, nephthalenes, methyl pyridine, carbonyl sulfide, toluene among others – and other known carcinogens and neurotoxins. (Source)
• Methane emissions along natural gas transmission routes are 25-75% higher than original EPA estimates, depending on the site, and are particularly high at pressure stations along the route. (Read More)
• Methane is a greenhouse gas over 20 times more powerful than carbon. So even though carbon emissions are lower, leaks in the natural gas extraction and transmission process have been shown to negate any environmental pluses of NG over coal or oil. (Source)
• Construction of a natural gas pipeline brings damage to natural habitats in forests, wetlands and other ecologically sensitive areas.
• Our nation’s natural gas pipeline system is so dangerously leaky, Senator Markey (MA) is working to address this inefficiency with two bills in Congress. (Read the Report)
• Massachusetts’ House of Representatives passed a similar state bill – H.3873, which is now under consideration in the Senate.
• The 2005 Energy Bill contains a measure nicknamed “The Haliburton Loophole” (Source) which exempted the Gas and Oil industries from the Safe Water Drinking Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA / Superfund Law*, and about a dozen more federal regulations
Fracking Hell? Photo series follows families who say their lives and communities have been destroyed by the industry
A group of photographers have spent the last several years documenting the effects of the natural gas industry on several rural communities in the Appalachian Mountains that have an abundance of natural gas deep below the surface of the earth.
The team of photographers – Noah Addis, Nina Berman, Brian Cohen, Scott Goldsmith, Lynn Johnson and Martha Rial – focus primarily on hydraulic-fracturing, a controversial method of extracting gas from below the earth’s surface by breaking rocks deep underground and creating small fractures from which it is possible to extract the gas.
The project is called The Marcellus Shale Documentary. It began in 2011 and is named for the Marcellus Formation – a large mass of sedimentary rock underneath the Appalachian Mountains that stretches hundreds of miles from West Virginia through Pennsylvania into New York.
Read the full News article here.
Current Fracked and Injection Wells in Ohio
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Woodsfield, OH - Over the weekend, a 3.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio. The earthquake occurred shortly before 8:00 a.m on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The epicenter was in the Sycamore Valley area in northern Bethel Township, Monroe County. Details are still emerging about the event.Click here for the full post