Fracking Impacts - Fracking Waste

Vast quantities of toxic and radioactive waste are produced by fracking. Hundreds of billions of gallons of liquid waste is overwhelming the limited capacity of treatment plants which cannot remove all the contaminants. Hundreds of thousands of injection wells are being used to force waste underground causing swarms of earthquakes. Combined with spills and dumping the waste is contaminating land, waterways and groundwater with a wide range of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Continue reading

Fracking wastewater spills increase (Post Independent , September 2015) Investigation finds more than 180 million gallons of US fracking waste spilled from 2009 to 2014, tainting agricultural land, poisoning drinking water, and sparking the mass die-off of plant and animal life

Groundwater Districts Seek Help Tracking Disposal Wells (Texas Tribune, July 2015) Injection wells used to dispose of fracking waste are threatening groundwater contamination across Texas, where there are roughly 7,500 waste disposal sites and counting, making it almost impossible to even track their spread

Truck driver sues Range Resources over injury claims (Observer-Reporter, May 2015) A West Virginia truck driver suffered chemical burns, blisters and rashes, as well as nausea, shortness of breath, indigestion, vertigo and headaches, and potentially permanent skin discoloration and sensitivity to sunlight, after he was splashed with fracking flowback water at a Marcellus Shale well site while attempting to fix a leak in his truck

AGL’s irrigation trial using CSG waste water found to be ‘unsustainable’ (Sydney Morning Herald, April 2015) The AGL coal seam gas project near Gloucester, New South Wales, which has been bedevilled by waste disposal issues, has been forced to end a trial using waste water for irrigation after regulators found it left behind unacceptably high levels of salt and heavy metals

Gas Industry’s Solution to Toxic Wastewater: Spray It on Roads (Newsweek, April 2015) In parts of Pennsylvania and New York, fracking waste is being dumped onto roads, ostensibly to melt ice in winter or suppress road dust in summer, but this brine has numerous toxic and radioactive constituents including radium, barium, ammonium, iodide and bromide

Fracking Flowback From California Oil Wells Contains High Levels Of Carcinogenic Chemicals (Alternet, February 2015) A study of fracking flowback fluid in California has found carcinogens such as chromium-6 and benzene which are thousands of times above official “safe” levels

List of Oil and Gas Wastewater Wells Dumping into Aquifers Grows (NBC, February 2015) A total of 532 injection wells are now suspected of dumping toxic wastewater left over from oil and gas extraction into protected clean water aquifers in violation of federal EPA guidelines, according to California’s Water Resources control board

Report: N.Y. landfills accept 460,000 tons of Pa. drilling waste (Lohud, February 2015) At least 460,000 tons and 23,000 barrels of waste from Pennsylvania fracking operations have been dumped in New York landfills since 2010, with the vast majority of the solid waste being radioactive shale drill cuttings

Scientists Discover Two New Pollutants In Fracking Waste (Think Progress, January 2015) A Duke University study has found that wastewater produced by both conventional and unconventional oil drilling contains high volumes of ammonium and iodide — chemicals that, when dissolved in water or mixed with other pollutants, can encourage the formation of toxins like carcinogenic disinfection byproducts and have negative impacts on aquatic life

AGL, Transpacific probed over fracking water discharges (Sydney Morning Herald, January 2015) AGL has become mired in fresh controversy over its coal seam gas activities near Gloucester after a contractor shipped untreated waste water to the Hunter region despite explicit rejection of the plan from the local water authority

Nova Scotia First Nation opposes plan to dispose fracking waste in sewer system (CTV News, December 2014) A First Nations community is appealing a Nova Scotia municipality’s decision to approve the disposal of millions of litres of fracking wastewater in its sewer system, after the the town of Amherst refused a similar plan to find a dumping ground for the waste from hydraulic fracturing operations which has been stored holding ponds for several years

AGL’s fracking wastewater dumped into sewers (Newcastle Herald, December 2014) Contaminated wastewater used to frack AGL’s Gloucester coal seam gas project, which often contains a range of fracking and drilling chemicals as well as heavy metals including arsenic, mercury, lead and cadmium, has been dumped unlawfully into the Hunter’s sewer system by the private company hired to treat it

More fracking produces more open waste pits (Market Place, October 2014) Fracking is driving a boom in toxic waste and dealing with an ever-escalating amount of waste means that it can often end up in open pit disposal sites, with increasing concerns over the dangers these disposal sites pose for air quality

Open Pits Offer Cheap Disposal for Fracking Sludge, but Health Worries Mount (InsideClimate News, October 2014) A commercial waste facility that will receive millions of barrels of toxic sludge from oil and gas production for disposal in enormous open-air pits is taking shape in a field less than a mile from Nordheim School, provoking worries that the wind will carry dangerous chemicals, including benzene, to the 180 school children

Nordheim Fights Becoming The Fracking Waste Capital Of The Eagle Ford (Texas Public Radio, September 2014) The town of Nordheim near the Eagle Ford Shale is threatened by plans for two massive fracking waste disposal pits are being proposed for right outside of town, one 200 acre site and the other 575 acres, which would be 25 feet deep and open to the air, allowing the toxic fracking waste to evaporate

California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers (ProPublica, July 2014) California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there

Illegal Dumping of Texas Frack Waste Caught on Video (InsideClimate News, May 2014) Fracking waste is disposed of wherever it is convenient and out of sight, in places like Karnes County, epicenter of the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, where nearly 9,000 wells have been sunk and another 5,500 approved since 2008, and billions of gallons of contaminated fluids must be dumped

Fracking produces annual toxic waste water enough to flood Washington DC (Guardian, October 2013) Waste water pits often fail, such as in New Mexico where there were more than 420 instances of contamination, and that treatment plants do not remove all contaminants

Sites sought for region’s fracking residue (Columbus Dispatch, September 2013) The two-year U.S. Department of Energy project to search for sites where companies can pump fracking waste underground, including saltwater that contains toxic metals and radium

As Fracking Proliferates, So Do Wastewater Wells (New York Times, March 2013) Most wastewater is trucked to disposal wells and injected thousands of feet underground resulting in truck traffic, accidents and the possibility for spills and groundwater contamination

Sewage Plants Struggle To Treat Wastewater Produced By Fracking Operations (Chemical & Engineering News, March 2013) Water used in fracking may still contain high levels of contaminants, even after going through wastewater treatment plants

Wastewater from fracking could be too much to handle, study says (NBC News, January 2013) The number of fracking operations in Pennsylvania has grown so rapidly that the wastewater being produced threatens to overwhelm the region’s capacity to properly treat it

The Trillion-Gallon Loophole: Lax Rules for Drillers that Inject Pollutants Into the Earth (ProPublica, September 2012) Injection wells have proliferated, driven by expanding use of hydraulic fracturing with 150,000 Class 2 wells in 33 states, in large part because they are the cheapest, most expedient way to dispose of hundreds of billions of gallons of waste, but the dangers of injection are well known with toxic materials bubbling up to the surface or escaping, contaminating aquifers that store supplies of drinking water

North Dakota’s Oil Boom Brings Damage Along With Prosperity (Pro Publica, June 2012) Oil companies are spilling and dumping drilling salty, chemical-infused waste onto the Bakken Shale region’s land and into its waterways with increasing regularity, wiping out aquatic life in streams and wetlands and sterilized farmland, with over 1,000 spills in 2011

Injection Wells: The Poison Beneath Us (ProPublica, June 2012) Records from disparate corners of the United States show that wells drilled to bury this waste deep beneath the ground have repeatedly leaked, sending dangerous chemicals and waste gurgling to the surface or, on occasion, seeping into shallow aquifers that store a significant portion of the nation’s drinking water

W.Va. study raises questions about fracking fluid (Businessweek, July 2011) A gas company that legally doused a patch of West Virginia forest with salty wastewater from a fracking operation killed ground vegetation within days and more than half the trees within two years

With Natural Gas Drilling Boom, Pennsylvania Faces an Onslaught of Wastewater (Pro Publica, October 2009) The Monongahela River, a drinking water source for 350,000 people, contaminated by chemically tainted fracking wastewater, making dishwashers malfunction, corroding the machinery of industrial users and probably responsible for death of 10,000 fish

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