Fracking and the Problems Surrounding the Process
Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘Fracking’, is an
Industrial process used to exploit ‘unconventional gas plays’, areas where methane gas is distributed throughout the rock layer rather than concentrated in one reservoir. Fracking involves pumping massive volumes of water(3 to 5 million gallons plus per well), mixed with sand and chemicals, under huge pressure, to open up natural fissures in the gas bearing rock and allow the gas to be forced up the well to the surface to be harvested.
While Fracking has been around since the late 1940s, recent technological advances have led to a huge surge in shale gas exploitation since 2007. The Bush regime in the US exempted Fracking from clean air and water legislation, which allowed it to proliferate with a minimal of environmental regulation.
Fracking has caused environmental degradation and pollution of water supplies across the US. A 2011 study by researchers at Duke University in the US firmly establishes the connection between the Fracking process and
water contamination*. Three companies have been given preliminary authorisations to explore for shale gas in parts of 12 Irish counties, including
Cavan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Fermanagh and Clare. Five Irish local authorities have voted to ban Fracking, but the decision on whether or not to allow it will rest with Government ministers and the Environmental Protection Agency.
There are numerous concerns surrounding this process, including:
• Environmental damage, air and water pollution,
in particular drinking water supply;
• Excessive water usage;
• Industrialisation of a rural landscape with
drilling pads on intersections of a 2 km grid;
• Infrastructure risk caused by a massive increase
in HGV traffic and resultant damage
to roads and increased risk of accidents;
• Long term human and animal health risks;
• Delaying of the transition to a low-carbon
• Economic risks, another short term construction
boom, followed by a massive bill
to the taxpayer to clean up the environmental
damage, while ownership of the gas is
transferred to private companies with a
negligible financial return to the State;
• Risks to Ireland’s tourism industry and to
Ireland’s reputation as a clean, green food
Posted on January 20, 2013, in buisiness, environment, gas, Government, Health, International affairs, Ireland, Protest, SCIENCE and tagged Duke University, Environmental Protection Agency, Government, Hydraulic fracturing, Ireland, Leitrim, Sligo, United States Environmental Protection Agency. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.