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Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic Fracturing. Nicole Goettemoeller, Allison Rakowski, Stephen Herr, Joseph Delanis, Robert Dufala, McLean Johnson. How Hydraulic Fracturing Works. Major Concerns. Volumes of fresh water consumed Toxic chemicals in hydraulic fluid Air pollution Seismic activity from drilling.

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Hydraulic Fracturing

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  1. Hydraulic Fracturing Nicole Goettemoeller, Allison Rakowski, Stephen Herr, Joseph Delanis, Robert Dufala, McLean Johnson

  2. How Hydraulic Fracturing Works

  3. Major Concerns • Volumes of fresh water consumed • Toxic chemicals in hydraulic fluid • Air pollution • Seismic activity from drilling

  4. Fresh Water Consumption • 3-5 million gallons per well site • 0.8% of water consumed in Marcellus Shale region • Large enough to require permits

  5. Toxic Chemicals • “Some of the components used in the hydraulic fracturing products were common and generally harmless...Some were unexpected, such as instant coffee and walnut hulls. And some were extremely toxic” • US House of Representatives Report • 750 different chemicals found • 29 carcinogens • EPA planning a study on fluids

  6. Dangers • Faulty casings can cause leaks • Back flow can occur on outside of casing • Stored in lined pits • Transportation Spills • Deep well injections of waste

  7. Possible Recycling • Treatment required • Aeration, ozonation, thermal distillation, reverse osmosis, etc. • Wastewater treatment plants • Bromide treatment difficult • May form toxic trihalomethanes

  8. Air Pollution • House of Rep report: 24 air pollutants found • EPA says more research needed from outside sources • Decreased air quality, increased green house gasses in high density areas • Diesel trucks and equipment • Ozone

  9. Seismic Activity • ML (Richter Scale): normally 1-2 • Follow injection of hydraulic fluids • 50 quakes during life of Bowland Shale drilling • Max ML 2.3 • Most ~1.0 • Higher scale quakes near faults

  10. Hydraulic Fracturing Policies

  11. Federal Rules and Regulations • Fracking has little federal regulation • In 2004 EPA evaluated the impacts of drinking water by hydraulic fracking • Zero confirmed cases of polluted water • Believed ground water production, dilution, and biodegration minimized the chemical effects • No additional study was warranted

  12. Energy Policy Act of 2005 • Dick Cheney was appointed to lead a task force in charge of energy policy • Many meetings were conducted in secret • Relied on recommendations of large oil companies • Exempts oil and gas companies from the Safe Water Drinking Act • Only industry in the US allowed to directly pollute our drinking source

  13. The FRAC Act • The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemical Act was introduced in 2009 • Would require disclosure of chemicals • Propriety chemical formulas must be provided in an emergency • Reintroduced in March 2011

  14. Ohio Fracking Regulations • Expanded Department of National Resource (DNR) authority • Requiring plugging of wells with defective casing or construction • Companies must report type and volume of material and methods used • Prohibit fluid application to the surface for well stimulation • State parks now open for fracking

  15. Pennsylvania Fracking Regulations • In the process • All companies restore water supplies they polluted • Responsible for reporting waste volumes and chemicals • October 2011 • Plan to tax drilling companies for the first time • $160,000 per well over ten-year period

  16. Are the policies working? • 2005 Energy Policy Act • “Halliburton Loophole” • Vice-President Dick Cheney • 2009 US FRAC Act • Fracking Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act • Government Officials in favor of Fracking • John Kasich, Ohio Governor

  17. Issue not getting addressed • “Clean Energy” • Underground Injection Control (UIC) • Protects against water contamination • Dump site in Warren County, Ohio • Ohio EPA approves • EPA Case Study (2004) • Discovered no contaminants • Currently conducting research and results should be available in 2014

  18. “Gasland” Josh Fox • Weston Wilson • “Even if it isn’t true, they deserve an investigation. They are American citizens…they should not be exposed to secret chemicals.” • Policy needs to be implemented • Severe water contamination near drilling sites • Citizens not being heard • Serious heath and environmental consequences

  19. Government Involvement • Former Vice President Dick Cheney and the federal government • State governments • Reasons for current policy: • So that energy companies do not have to worry about doing the job safely • For jobs to be created in the states that have fracking • Wanted a cleaner source of energy

  20. Non-Governmental Actors

  21. Fracking Opponents • National Organizations • NRDC • Regional • Shaleshock • State Specific • Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project • Individuals • Josh Fox • Universities

  22. Fracking Proponents • Individual Congressmen • Energy Companies • Cabot, Chesapeake, Exxon • Natural Resource Coalitions • American Petroleum Institute • Lobbying Groups • Universities

  23. Conclusion

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