- If fracking is defined as a single fracture of deep shale, that action might be benign. When multiple “fracks” are done in multiple, adjacent wells, however, the risk for contaminating drinking water may rise. If fracking is defined as the entire industrial operation, including drilling and the storage of wastewater, contamination has already been found.
- Advanced tests, such as putting tracer chemicals down a well to see if they reappear in drinking water, could ultimately prove whether fracking is safe or not.
- Some regulators are not waiting for better science; they are moving toward allowing fracking on an even wider scale.
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Is fracking polluting our drinking water? The debate has become harsh, and scientists are speaking out.
Anthony Ingraffea, an engineering professor at Cornell University and an expert on the controversial technique to drill natural gas, has had much to say, especially since he attended a March meeting in Arlington, Va., hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There he met scientists from top gas and drilling companies: Devon Energy, Chesapeake, Halliburton. All had assembled to help the agency determine whether fracking, accused of infusing toxic chemicals and gas into drinking-water supplies in various states, is guilty as charged. The answer lies at the center of escalating controversy in New York State, Pennsylvania, Texas and Colorado, as well as Australia, France and Canada.
This article was originally published with the title The Truth about Fracking.