A recent commentary in this newspaper stated that, “fracking, is safe” and that it “poses no threat to groundwater supplies.”
It also claimed that the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and “many academic institutions have all concluded that fracking poses no threat to groundwater supplies.” An article in the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times advocated for state legislators to “reverse the ban on fracking.”
But after seven years of study, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation found “significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated” and decided to extended that state’s ban on fracking.
Although the industry argues that fracking fluids are handled in a safe manner, e.g. recovered as much as possible, dispersed deeply enough, etc., the evidence says otherwise. A report by the EPA states, “Local impacts on drinking water quantity have occurred in areas with increased hydraulic fracturing activity.” And the Yale Global Health Review states that fracking and flowback fluids can contaminate surface or groundwater in several ways, including pipe leakage, faulty well construction, chemical spills during construction, and improper waste water treatment.
It also states that these failures occur three to six times more often than those of conventional natural gas wells, and often lead to the contamination of nearby drinking wells.
Moreover, it argues that “the contamination of water during the fracking process may affect the health of nearby communities.”
Clearly, this evidence, and much more refutes the idea that “fracking is safe.”
Mike Kamandulis, Kersey