Water Disposal Most Severe Fracking Environmental Threat, Says Report

Water Disposal Most Severe Fracking Environmental Threat, Says Report by Environmental Management, Energy & Sustainability News, August 7, 2012
The disposal of contaminated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing wells producing natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region presents risks from salts and radioactive materials that are “several orders of magnitude larger” than for other potential water pollution events examined in a report by Stony Brook University. Other water pollution pathways studied in Water Pollution Risk Associated with Natural Gas Extraction from the Marcellus Shale include: a tanker truck spilling its contents while transporting fluids used in the drilling process going to or from a well site; a well casing failing and leaking fluids to groundwater; fracturing fluids migrating through underground fractures into drinking water; and drilling site spills at the surface caused by improper handling of fluids or leaks from storage tanks and retention ponds. … The new findings and recommendations come amid significant controversy over the benefits and environmental risks associated with fracking. … In May, Chevron and ExxonMobil shareholders filed proposalsasking the companies to disclose risks to their operations and finances from hydraulic fracturing. Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow filed the ExxonMobil resolution on behalf of the Park Foundation, while Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and Green Century Capital Management filed the Chevron resolution.

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