If the Flaming Faucets Don't Get You, Fracking's Waste Water Might

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Site of the fracking waste water test.
Fracking may be bad not only for your faucet, but also your garden.
And perhaps even a forest.
With considerable speculation surrounding the controversial method of freeing up natural gas below the Earth’s surface, the U.S. Forest Service decided to see if fracking could have a negative impact on vegetation. The process of injecting high-pressured chemicals and sand deep underground has already produced dangerous instances of flammable tap water, so government researchers tried pouring fracking’s waste water on a section of test forest in West Virginia.
The results? More than half the trees exposed to the chemicals died.
Forest Service soil scientist Mary Beth Adams, one of the authors of the Forest Service report,  says more testing needs to be done, because the experiment may have been too small in size and the exposure too concentrated to accurately determine the true effects of fracking chemicals on a larger spread of trees.
Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, uses enormous amounts of water, destabilizes the ground, injects pollutants into the underground water supply, produces polluted fracking wastewater and can cause severe landscape degradation.
And, as the Academy Award-nominated documentary GasLand showed, it can set fire to water contaminated by the fracking process that comes out of taps and hoses.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Fracking Water Killed Trees, Study Finds (by Mireya Navarro, New York Times)
Gas Well Drilling Affects a National Forest (by Nicholas Kusnetz. (ProPublica)
Baffled About Fracking? You're Not Alone (by Mike Soraghan, Greenwire)
Fracking (Greenpeace)
Fracking Linked to Flammable Drinking Water (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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