FAQs about Fracking

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6. How does fracking affect the environment?

In the process of fracking, the mixture is injected an enormous amount of water and sand at a pressure between “345 and 690 atmospheres, equivalent to the pressure under the sea at depths between 3450-6900 m”. The mixture includes between one and two tons of chemical products that are poured into each well, some of them very toxic. A part of the fluid returns to the surface next to the shale, and if not handled correctly can contaminate the soil. A report issued in 2011, by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, concluded that fracking produces an “emission of pollutants into the atmosphere, affecting groundwater due to flow of fluids or gases caused for leaks or spills, leakage of fracturing liquids and uncontrolled discharges of wastewater, as well as the use of more than 600 chemical products to release natural gas “. That same year “the Department of Public Health of the University of Colorado and Duke University also pointed to methane pollution from hydraulic fracturing processes. The contamination of aquifers by methane has adverse effects on water quality. ” Methane that escapes into the atmosphere, even in small quantities, can increase global warming, since its contribution to the greenhouse effect is 21 times greater than that of CO2.

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Fracking or hydraulic fracturing

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