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Briana Mordick, Staff Scientist, San Francisco

Briana Mordick
From elementary school science fairs, to dreams of being an astronaut, to wandering the world looking at rocks, I have loved science for as long as I can remember. Nothing fascinates me more than learning how the world works. I stumbled onto geology as a freshman in college and was instantly hooked. After getting my Masters, I went to work for the oil and gas industry as a petroleum geologist for almost six years. When the opportunity arose to combine my passion for science with my passion for the environment, I jumped. As a Staff Scientist for NRDC, I focus on solutions to the environmental impacts of oil and gas extraction, the potential for carbon capture and geologic sequestration to help curb global warming, and work to bridge the gaps between science and policy.

Recent Posts

California Scientists Find Numerous Threats from Oil & Gas Development, Major Data Gaps

Posted July 10, 2015 by Briana Mordick

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Well stimulation activities and oil and gas development in general can result in a range of impacts to the environment and human health, but much more data is needed to completely analyze the risks, according to two new reports from...continued

Science/Fiction: Did EPA Determine Whether or Not Fracking has led to Widespread, Systematic Impacts to Drinking Water?

Posted June 22, 2015 by Briana Mordick

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"Hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources." Or so says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's press statement announcing the release of the agency's draft report on the risks to drinking water from fracking,...continued

EPA Study Finds Fracking Contaminated Drinking Water

Posted June 5, 2015 by Briana Mordick

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At long last, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the draft results of its five-year study on the relationship between hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," and drinking water. The major conclusion? Hydraulic fracturing activities resulted in "impacts on drinking water...continued

USGS Weighs in on Earthquakes Caused by Oil & Gas Operations

Posted April 24, 2015 by Briana Mordick

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The United States Geological Survey (USGS) released a preliminary report yesterday assessing the impact that manmade or "induced" earthquakes caused by oil and gas operations in the Central and Eastern U.S. have on seismic hazard. While their work is not...continued

What Should We Expect from EPA's Study on Fracking and Drinking Water?

Posted March 11, 2015 by Briana Mordick

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The Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to release a draft of its long awaited study on hydraulic fracturing's potential impacts on drinking water this spring. When EPA announced the creation of this study way back in March 2010, it was...continued

Hundreds of Active Oil Waste Injection Wells Still Threaten Drinking Water across California

Posted March 9, 2015 by Briana Mordick

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California regulators shut down 12 injection wells last week that were improperly permitted to pump potentially toxic oil and gas waste water into drinking water aquifers. One of the 12 shutdown wells is in the Deer Creek Oil Field, near...continued

State Shuts Down 12 More Wells Pumping Oil Waste into California Drinking Water

Posted March 4, 2015 by Briana Mordick

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Regulators in California ordered operators to shut down 12 wells injecting potentially toxic oil and gas wastewater into federally protected drinking water - bringing the total number of wells ordered to halt injection to 23. There are more than 2,500...continued

Who's to blame for oil waste in Californians' drinking water? Part II

Posted March 2, 2015 by Briana Mordick

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Recently it was revealed that oil and gas operators in California have been granted more than 2500 permits to inject oil and gas wastewater and other fluids into federally protected drinking water aquifers. What do we know about the stuff...continued

Who's to blame for oil waste in Californians' drinking water?

Posted February 9, 2015 by Briana Mordick

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New information shows decades of mismanagement and failure to safeguard federally protected drinking water aquifers Photo Credit: NRDC New information from the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) reveals that decades of poor record-keeping, lax oversight, and...continued

Consumers Demand Better Practices from Natural Gas Producers

Posted November 12, 2014 by Briana Mordick

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Natural gas extraction practices present a broad range of environmental risks, including to air, water, land, community character, and public health. Although the full measure of those risks remains a subject of evolving science, many practices and technologies do currently...continued

Faulty Gas Wells Contaminated Drinking Water in Pennsylvania and Texas

Posted September 17, 2014 by Briana Mordick

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A new scientific study concluded that poorly constructed wells are to blame for groups of methane-contaminated drinking water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett shale gas plays. This adds to a growing body of research showing that oil and gas...continued

California Well Stimulation Report Finds Data Lacking, Risks Broad

Posted September 5, 2014 by Briana Mordick

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A report on the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, acidizing, and other well stimulation technologies (WST) in California found that the data available to perform such an analysis is “very limited” and the potential impacts of stimulation-enabled production may be...continued

Leaky Oil and Gas Wells Threaten the Environment and Public Health and Safety

Posted June 5, 2014 by Briana Mordick

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A new report from researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada highlights a serious problem for the oil and gas industry – leaking wells. The steel pipes and cement used to build oil and gas wells sometimes don’t form...continued

Fracking Linked to Earthquakes in Ohio

Posted April 11, 2014 by Briana Mordick

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The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced today that recent earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were likely caused by hydraulic fracturing.  A series of earthquakes up to magnitude 3.0 struck on March 10th and 11th in Mahoning County near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. A...continued

Widespread Contamination of Drinking Water from the East Poplar Oil Field in Montana

Posted April 2, 2014 by Briana Mordick

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A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) documents serious drinking water contamination caused by oil production in Montana. This is the latest report from the USGS in an ongoing investigation of groundwater contamination in and near the East...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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