The dangers and hazards of fracking are numerous and far-reaching.
The relatively new drilling method known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, carries significant environmental risks. It involves injecting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and toxic chemicals, at high pressures to break up delicate rock formations to release the natural gas.
A fracked well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is laced with highly corrosive salts and carcinogens such as benzene and radioactive elements such as radium.
Thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are far greater than previously understood. The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat this type of waste is then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water. This wastewater contains radioactivity at levels far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle. The EPA has not intervened.
The ruination of the land above the Marcellus shale would only produce a meager 50 trillion cubic feet of gas, only enough to meet U.S. needs for two years. TWO MEASLY YEARS OF ENERGY in exchange for destroying the homes and lives of millions of people for tens of thousands of millennia.
A rash of earthquakes reported in central Arkansa has resulted in the halt of drilling operations there.