Fracking is a technique that companies use to
extract natural resources, like oil and natural gas. It is done by injecting a
liquid into the ground to break shale apart, which then frees natural gas.
Fracking has not been popular in the past but now is becoming more widespread. Companies
are starting to use fracking because they see it as an easy means to extract
oil and natural gas. As fracking becomes more popular, scientists are beginning
to see contamination of groundwater, methane pollution, and huge amounts of
many years citizens have believed that fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing,
does not affect groundwater, but recent studies have proven this to be
incorrect. A study done by EPA scientist Dominic DiGiulio stated, “In 2011, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a controversial draft
report regarding an investigation of groundwater pollution related to fracking
operations…the report found that fracking processes can contaminate drinking
water” (DiGiulio 16). In fracking, drill sites use the chemical 2-BE. This
chemical is known to cause tumors in rats and other test animals. Studies have
shown that this chemical has appeared in wells around fracking sites. The
placement of this chemical into the surrounding environment around wells can
kill entire ecosystems.
air emissions are produced during fracking, which have detrimental effects on
the human body. Some say these emissions cannot effect the surrounding populations,
but this was recently proved incorrect. A study at the Colorado School of
Public Health stated, “air pollution from hydraulic fracturing may cause acute
and chronic health problems to those who live near natural gas drilling sites”
(15-16). One of the substances that fracking emits is Benzene. Benzene is very
bad for human health, it can cause lowering of white blood cells, which affects
the immune system. One of the long term
effects which people living near fracking sites may experience is leukemia.
Leukemia is a type of cancer and can be deadly.
fracking uses astronomical amounts of water, which is mostly wasted, and not
recaptured. Fracking sites can use up to 4.3 million gallons of water per well.
These sites use fresh water from streams and rivers to fuel their injection.
Most of this “wastewater” is not recaptured. “Only 8 percent of those fluids
are recaptured, and Betcher’s research team found that because of inadequate
state reporting requirements, the fate of 62 percent of that fracking waste is
unknown” (Drouin). Some say this water is not wasted, these critics believe
that the oil and gas produced by fracking will offset the waste of water. The
pro-fracking believe that the methods used to recapture water do not lose water.
One way of disposal for this liquid is to pump it into an incased well. This
method completely takes valuable water out of the environment forever, leaving
humans and the environment with even less of this necessity.
Fracking not only
destroys the environment, but it also hurts human health and takes away
valuable resources. Fracking generally causes more damage than good. Fracking
produces harmful chemicals, which pollute groundwater. Overall, fracking
creates many problems for the environment and human health.