Friday, October 21, 2011

WSJ: Agency to Set Standards on Fracking Waste Water

by D. Solomon page A3.

"The EPA, responding to concerns about potential water contamination from natural gas drilling, said it would develop standards for disposing of waste water from the process.

The decision comes amid questions involving the drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves injecting large amounts amounts of water and chemicals deep underground to unleash natural gas trapped in shale formation. Much of that water, often laden with salt and chemicals and known as 'flowback,' returns to the surface and requires disposal."

Majia here: Fracking -- which uses enormous amounts of drinkable water along with toxic chemicals and which also releases radioactive materials and other hazardous substances in shale deposits -- has raised significant environmental and health concerns.

In New Mexico, for example, similar processes have leached toxic chemicals into the water table at 800 sites.”

The explosion of natural gas drilling is going to compromise further the US supply of fresh water:

The Natural Resources Defense Council reports “More than One Out of Three U.S. Counties Face Water Shortages Due to Climate Change

The Ogallala Aquifer, a vast underground aquifer that stretches from southern S. Dakota to northern Texas, is being drained

Since 1998, Lake Mead's capacity has plunged by more than 50% - down 5.6 trillion gallons

The US Faces Long Term Water Sustainability Problems
Currently, the US allows states to regulate fracking.
Generally, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates anything that could affect underground drinking water supplies. But in 2005, the industry successfully lobbied for the exemption for fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act. That leaves regulation up to the states, which don't have the kind of resources the EPA does.” (NPR
Fracking for Natural Gas is going to contaminate our drinking water and the US will be left with an expensive natural-gas infrastructure (like the proposed Keystone pipeline) that will rot after natural gas supplies are exhausted by our ever-growing energy demand.

In short time, we will have neither natural gas nor potable water.

Rather than burning through our water and fracking through our land, we need to develop sustainable energy sources, even if those sources are not able to maintain our current, profligate ways of living.

See Gasland video and image found at

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