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Hydraulic Fracturing ("Fracking") FAQs - 18 Found

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What environmental issues are associated with hydraulic fracturing?

The actual practice of hydraulic fracturing is only a small portion of the overall process of drilling, completing, and producing an oil and gas well. Issues related to hydraulic fracturing specifically include water availability, spills of chemicals at the surface, and induced seismicity that very rarely can be felt. Issues associated with the more complete process of oil and gas drilling and production enabled by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing include all of the above as well as groundwater quality degradation, reduced air quality, noise, night sky light pollution, impacts of sand mining for use in the hydraulic fracturing process, landscape changes such as forest fragmentation, surface water quality degradation from waste fluid disposal, and induced seismicity from the injection of waste fluids into deep disposal wells.

It is very important to note that not all of these potential impacts occur at every site and many impacts can be avoided or mitigated with the proper practices.

 

Learn more: USGS Energy Resources Program main hydraulic fracturing page.

Science or Soundbite? Shale Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Induced Earthquakes

Tags: Fracking, Hydraulic Fracturing, Oil and Gas Drilling