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Hydraulic Fracturing ("Fracking") FAQs - 18 Found

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Can hydraulic fracturing impact the quality of groundwater or surface water?

Conducted properly, hydraulic fracturing has little possibility of contaminating water supplies. Properly constructed wells prevent the introduction of drilling fluids, hydraulic fracturing fluids, deep saline formation waters, or oil and gas from entering aquifers. Carefully constructed and operated well sites have the ability to contain potential spills and minimize runoff into surface waters. However, oil and gas drilling in general is an industrial activity in which it is possible for accidents to occur that result in contamination of surface waters and near-surface aquifers.

More research on hydraulic fracturing is underway, including a major study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The USGS has a large role in a recent Memorandum of Agreement among the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve our scientific understanding of the environmental issues related to unconventional oil and gas.

 

 

Learn more:

 USGS Energy Resources Program main hydraulic fracturing page.

Water-Quality Topics: Hydraulic Fracturing

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Tags: Fracking, Hydraulic Fracturing, Oil and Gas Drilling