EPA’s late changes to fracking study downplayed risk of polluted drinking water

Top officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year made critical changes at the eleventh hour to a highly anticipated, five-year scientific study of hydraulic fracturing’s effect on the nation’s drinking water. The changes, later criticized by scientists for lacking evidence, played down the risk of pollution that can result from the...

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Frackers told to shut wells after quake

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is telling operators to shut down 35 disposal wells that may have played a role in a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that shook at least six states September 3, 2016, Gov. Mary Fallin said. The disposal wells, which are linked to fracking and other industries that need to dispose of toxic waste water by injecting it deep into the earth, have...

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4 States Struggling to Manage Radioactive Fracking Waste

The Marcellus Shale has transformed the Appalachian Basin into an energy juggernaut. Even amid a recent drilling slowdown, regional daily production averages enough natural gas to power more than 200,000 U.S. homes for a year. But the rise of hydraulic fracturing over the past decade has created another boom: tons of radioactive materials experts call an “orphan” waste...

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Scientists Just Pinpointed Another Example Of Fracking’s Environmental Impact

A dumping site for fracking fluids long suspected to be leaching into Wolf Creek, a West Virginia waterway with ties to a county’s water supply, has indeed contaminated the creek with multiple chemicals, a new U.S. Geological Survey study has found. The “study demonstrates definitively that the stream is being impacted by [unconventional oil and gas extraction]...

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Fracking’s Total Environmental Impact Is Staggering, Report Finds

The body of evidence is growing that fracking is not only bad for the global climate, it is also dangerous for local communities. And affected communities are growing in number. A new report details the sheer amount of water contamination, air pollution, climate impacts, and chemical use in fracking in the United States. “For the past decade, fracking has been a...

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New Study Confirms Fracking Contamination That The EPA Walked Back On In 2011

A new study out of Stanford University offers residents of Pavillion, Wyoming a little more clarity on an issue that has been plaguing them for nearly a decade: is hydraulic fracturing to blame for years of contamination in their drinking water? The town initially made headlines in 2008, when residents began complaining of strange odors and tastes in their drinking...

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You know the old saying: “Another day, another study linking fracking to health problems.”

A new study from the Yale School of Public Health links the chemicals used in fracking with potential reproductive and developmental problems. This isn’t exactly new — we’ve known for some time that fracking is connected with lowered sperm counts, as well as premature births and a host of other health issues. This particular study, however, raises concerns about...

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Not Even National Parks Are Safe From Fracking

America’s national parks cover nearly 52 million acres — an area roughly the size of Kansas — and contain some of the most incredible natural landscapes in the country. Sweeping valleys, frosted mountain peaks and immaculate waterways host a range of incredible wildlife, many of which are threatened or endangered. National parks are also public lands, maintained by the...

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Toxic Fracking Water Being Used to Water Crops During California Drought

Many crops in the drought-stricken state of California are actually being irrigated with fracking wastewater. Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure, which allows the gas to flow out to the head of...

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In Oklahoma, Fracking Companies Can Now Be Sued Over Earthquakes

If you live in Oklahoma, and you’ve been injured by an earthquake that was possibly triggered by oil and gas operations, you can now sue the oil company for damages. That’s the effect of a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which on June 30, 2015 rejected efforts by the oil industry to prevent earthquake injury lawsuits from being heard in court. Instead of being...

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The EPA Just Released A Long-Awaited Study On Whether Fracking Causes Water Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency released a draft assessment of its long-awaited study on the impact of hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — on drinking water resources in the United States. The report found that although fracking has, to date, been carried out in a way that has not led to widespread and systematic impacts on the country’s drinking water,...

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Citizens Arrested While Defending Denton, Texas Fracking Ban – Even the Cops Thank Them

Three members of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group were arrested when they refused to move away from the entrance to a fracking site where work began June 2, 2015. Before arresting them, however, Sergeant Jenkins, a 30-year veteran of the Denton police department, thanked the three — Adam Briggle, a professor at the University of North Texas, and Denton residents...

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Confirming Fears, Scientists Detect Fracking Chemicals in Drinking Water

A toxic chemical used in the controversial drilling practice known as fracking has been detected in the drinking-water supply of Pennsylvania homeowners, according to a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The chemical—2-Butoxyethanol or 2BE, known to have caused tumors in rodents—showed up as “white foam,”...

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Why fracking is splitting environmental groups apart

Few things inspire bitter disagreement among green groups and climate advocates quite like the question of how to deal with fracking. It’s one of the more important debates within environmentalism today. To break it down very roughly: The pro-fracking side points out that the US natural-gas boom, driven by hydraulic fracturing, has been one of the big environmental...

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We’re finding out what’s in fracking wastewater, and it ain’t pretty

On so many issues, California is the green leader, showing other states how it should be done better. But better is not necessarily the same thing as flawless. Right now, California is doing a better job of regulating fracking than any other state that allows it — but, of course, many local activists would rather the state just banned it, as New York has. The federal...

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Fewer trade secrets for Wyoming fracking fluid

In 2010 Wyoming became the first state to require oil and gas companies to disclose chemicals used in fracking operations. Home to the petroleum-rich Powder River Basin, proponents saw the rule as a model for other drilling-dependent states to follow. The message they hoped the regulation would convey: We can be energy-friendly and environmentally friendly too. But the...

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Fracking’s future is in doubt as oil price plummets, bonds crash

There’s no doubt that US-based fracking – the process through which oil and gas deposits are blasted from shale deposits deep underground – has caused a revolution in worldwide energy supplies. Yet now the alarm bells are ringing about the financial health of the fracking industry, with talk of a mighty monetary bubble bursting – leading to...

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How oil drilling is threatening Utah’s red rock recreation sites

A different kind of spire is jutting into the iconic red rock vistas of Moab, Utah. It is the scaffolding of drilling rigs, and it heralds a new chapter in Moab’s long history of energy extraction. Moab may have been comfortable with the uranium industry that put it on the map in another century. But having an oil patch in the midst of this area’s popular...

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Take a Walk on a Leaky Uintah Basin Oil Well With a Whistleblowing Oil and Gas CEO

Three separate and very interesting things have happened over the past few months, and what makes them even more interesting is the timing, and the fact that they all happened within such a short period. Sequentially speaking, the second and most recent thing that happened, is that a midwife in the highly conservative oil patch community of Vernal, Utah in the Uintah...

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Hard Times in a Boom Town: Pennsylvanians Describe Costs of Fracking

The Marcellus is the largest and fastest growing shale gas play in the US and more than half of its 50 most productive wells were drilled in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Susquehanna and neighboring Bradford County produced 41 percent of all Marcellus gas in the state. While drilling is down in other shale gas plays across the US, with major oil companies selling off...

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Citizen voices protected the national forest

Living next door to the 1.1-million acre George Washington National Forest, along the mountainous Virginia/West Virginia border, has both pros and cons. Pros are clean air and water, many more tree neighbors than people, and the right of every citizen to tell the government how to manage this beautiful public forest. Cons are tourists, forest fires and the right of every...

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Feds OK fracking in George Washington National Forest

The federal government will allow a controversial form of energy drilling called fracking in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia, but it will sharply cut the amount of land on which fracking could occur. The much-anticipated decision represents, in effect, a compromise between people who feared fracking would harm the 1.1 million-acre forest and industry...

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Fracking pollution just went airborne

From contaminated groundwater to polytechnic displays at the kitchen faucet, most of the major concerns around fracking have centered around how fracking fluids and methane could be polluting our water supply. But there has been suspicion that fracking impacts the air, too, and a new study published this week in the journal of Environmental Health adds one more piece of...

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How Fracking Just Got Worse for Your Health

The National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens—the nation’s authoritative public list of substances “known” or “reasonably anticipated” to cause cancer in humans—added four chemicals, making a total of 243 substances in its 13th Report: 1-bromopropane used as a cleaning solvent and in spray adhesives; Pentachlorophenol, a complex mixture used as a wood...

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Tribe bans fracking

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has joined a growing number of local governments opposing the state legislature’s decision to allow hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, in North Carolina. Earlier this month, tribal council passed a resolution outlawing the practice on tribal lands, a force of authority stronger than what county and municipal governments possess....

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Meet the gas industry front group exploiting the homeless to promote NC fracking

More than 500 people showed up at a public hearing held last week at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina to weigh in on proposed rules for fracking in the state. Commenters were overwhelmingly opposed to the controversial natural gas drilling technique – but not for lack of creative effort on the part of the drilling industry. About 20 people...

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State backs off plans to test for WNC natural gas potential

Despite a recent pullback on testing for natural gas potential in Western North Carolina, environmental groups say the threat of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — still looms over the region. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources recently decided not to conduct rock tests this fall in seven mountain counties looking at the potential for natural gas...

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Drillers illegally using diesel fuel to frack

This new report charges that several oil and gas companies have been illegally using diesel fuel in their hydraulic fracturing operations, and then doctoring records to hide violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The report published this week by the Environmental Integrity Project found that between 2010 and July 2014 at least 351 wells were fracked by 33...

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Fracking operations get even closer to drinking water sources than thought

Fracking companies have tried their best to quell the public’s fears about the practice. But, uh, they’re not doing a very good job of it. A new study shows that oil and gas companies are fracking at much shallower depths than previously thought — sometimes even through potential underground sources of drinking water. To be clear, the study — which looked at the fracking...

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The bend in the Appalachian mountain chain is finally explained

The 1,500 mile Appalachian mountain chain runs along a nearly straight line from Alabama to Newfoundland—except for a curious bend in Pennsylvania and New York State. Researchers from the College of New Jersey and the University of Rochester now know what caused that bend—a dense, underground block of rigid, volcanic rock forced the chain to shift eastward as it was...

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