Story of water: Hydraulic Fracturing 101

In case you are lucky not to know what Hydraulic Fracturing (or Fracking)
is, I want to share this information with you.

The following dry text is from EPA

Hydraulic fracturing (HF) is a well stimulation process used to maximize the extraction of underground resources; including oil, natural gas, geothermal energy, and even water. The oil and gas industry uses HF to enhance subsurface fracture systems to allow oil or natural gas to move more freely from the rock pores to production wells that bring the oil or gas to the surface.

The process of hydraulic fracturing begins with building the necessary site infrastructure including well construction. Production wells may be drilled in the vertical direction only or paired with horizontal or directional sections. Vertical well sections may be drilled hundreds to thousands of feet below the land surface and lateral sections may extend 1000 to 6000 feet away from the well.

Fluids, commonly made up of water and chemical additives, are pumped into a geologic formation at high pressure during hydraulic fracturing. When the pressure exceeds the rock strength, the fluids open or enlarge fractures that can extend several hundred feet away from the well. After the fractures are created, a propping agent is pumped into the fractures to keep them from closing when the pumping pressure is released. After fracturing is completed, the internal pressure of the geologic formation cause the injected fracturing fluids to rise to the surface where it may be stored in tanks or pits prior to disposal or recycling. Recovered fracturing fluids are referred to as flowback. Disposal options for flowback include discharge into surface water or underground injection.

Cross-section of the hydraulic fracturing well


(From: GaslandTheMovie.com/ )

Unpublished 2009 EPA Study on radiation in fracking water.

This PowerPoint presentation, given by E.P.A. officials in 2009 to state and federal regulators in Pennsylvania, includes some of the results from an E.P.A study that tested whether certain rivers can sufficiently dilute radium-laced drilling wastewater. Such wastewater is passed through sewage treatment plants and discharged into the rivers; in their modeling, E.P.A. researchers looked at one plant where waste was being discharged into the Ohio River, a comparatively larger river that provides more dilution. They also studied another plant that discharged waste into the South Fork Tenmile River, which is smaller and thus provides less dilution. In both cases, the scientists found that the rivers would not dilute radium to allowable levels, according to this slideshow, as explained by an agency scientist familiar with the research. The radium levels considered in the agency’s modeling were also much lower than those found in The Times’s review. E.P.A. officials said that the type of calculations done in their modeling of radium-laced waste discharged into rivers are actually something that the state is supposed to be doing as a standard step before they issue permits for sewage treatment plants to accept drilling wastewater. But the E.P.A. officials added that the state had not been doing all of these sorts of calculations for the range of contaminants, including the radioactive elements, in the wastewater.
(From: EPA)

Fracking has never been practiced on the current scale

(From: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/chapter_executive_summary.cfm)

…and in so many places.

(From http://teeic.anl.gov/er/oilgas/restech/dist/index.cfm )

Following is an extended preview of the HBO documentary “Gasland”.

 

Interestingly enough, shortly after it came out, America’s Natural Gas Alliance paid for a very expensive google advertisement to display a film critique (a bunch of loud statements without a single reference) every time someone looks for Gasland.

Latest fracking spills in the news

Please note that not a word is mentioned about water being radioactive in any of the reports.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION

We can’t stop Fracking without you. Pick up the phone, talk to your friends and family, send and e-mail, start an organization, JUST DO SOMETHING!

About FRAC ACT
The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (H.R. 2766), (S. 1215)—was introduced to both houses of the the United States Congress on June 9, 2009, and aims to repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water Act. It would require the energy industry to disclose the chemicals it mixes with the water and sand it pumps underground in the hydraulic fracturing process (also known as fracking), information that has largely been protected as trade secrets. Controversy surrounds the practice of hydraulic fracturing as a threat to drinking water supplies.[1] The gas industry opposes the legislation.[2]

The House bill was introduced by representatives Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Maurice Hinchey D-N.Y., and Jared Polis, D-Colo. The Senate version was introduced by senators Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

WHAT CAN I DO?

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