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Feature: Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic Fracturing & Water Contamination

Hydraulic fracturing involves the injecting of fluids -- often containing toxic chemicals -- into oil or gas wells at very high pressure. A loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act exempts hydraulic fracturing from regulation, despite the threat to drinking water supplies. Hydraulic fracturing has been linked to contaminated drinking water in communities around the country.

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Report finds illegal use of diesel in fracking fluid, highlights problems with FracFocus

Posted August 22, 2014 by Matthew McFeeley in Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Last week, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) released a report which found that companies had disclosed using diesel fuel in fracking in 12 states.  The use of diesel fuel as a component of fracking fluid is illegal without a permit under...continued

Pennsylvania: yet another report on dangerous environmental and health impacts in the frack patch

Posted August 15, 2014 by Amy Mall in Health and the Environment

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Exactly three years ago, I blogged about Pam Judy in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Pam's family experienced severe health symptoms after a compressor station was built on her neighbor's property, including nose bleeds, vertigo, mouth blisters, extreme headaches, fatigues, vomiting, and emergency room visits. Air...continued

EPA must step in after WV's repeated failure to protect drinking water from oil and gas waste

Posted August 14, 2014 by Matthew McFeeley in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Today NRDC sent a letter to U.S. EPA calling on them to crack down on the state of West Virginia’s lax oversight of oil and gas and fracking wastewater disposal wells—that is putting drinking water at risk of contamination, and...continued

Are Cancer Rates Elevated near Texas Fracking Sites? State Investigation Falls Short of Answering Residents' Concerns

Posted August 5, 2014 by Tanja Srebotnjak in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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For the past 4 years, residents of Flower Mound – a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas – have been concerned about what they see as an unexplained rise in cancer diagnoses in their community.  They wonder if pollution from the...continued

Michigan's draft fracking rules: weak sauce and no beef

Posted August 5, 2014 by Ann Alexander in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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Michigan has finally gotten around to proposing new regulations for fracking, but unfortunately for Michiganders, the first three words they bring to mind are, where’s the beef?  Fracking is increasingly posing a threat to health and quality of life in...continued

"Biological impacts of fracking still largely unknown"

Posted August 5, 2014 by Amy Mall in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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A new peer-reviewed scientific paper outlines in detail the threats of fracking to plants and wildlife. The authors, from various universities, concluded that there are few studies and therefore significant knowledge gaps. Among their findings: Threats from shale development include: "surface and groundwater contamination; diminished stream...continued

Latest polling results in New York show continued growth in opposition to fracking

Posted July 31, 2014 by Kate Sinding in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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In New York’s Southern Tier, the very heart of the Marcellus Shale region where natural gas lies locked in dense rock, new poll results show a strong majority of people are worried about the health and environmental impacts of the...continued

Germany on fracking: "the dangers of this technology are too great"

Posted July 31, 2014 by Amy Mall in Health and the Environment

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The German federal environment agency just released a report on fracking. I don't speak German, and there is nothing on the agency's English language website yet, but I am going to post some key quotes from articles I have read: "Basically, we believe...continued

"Oil and gas spills surge, two a day, residents often not notified"

Posted July 30, 2014 by Amy Mall in Health and the Environment

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The Denver Post headline says it all: "Oil and gas spills surge, two a day, residents often not notified." There have been reports for years about the high number of spills in Colorado. The good news is that Colorado makes...continued

New report: Drinking water at risk from poorly regulated oil and gas waste injection

Posted July 29, 2014 by Amy Mall in Health and the Environment

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Yesterday the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an eagerly awaited report on the state of something called the Underground Injection Control program. This program, aka “UIC,” is designed to protect underground sources of drinking water from the underground injection of fluids,...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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