Another case shows contamination risk after fracking process

On behalf of Rock Palermo of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC posted in Oil and Gas on October 07, 2014.

In states across the nation, including our very own Louisiana, the debate continues over the safety of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. From environmental groups to concerned residents, many are questioning if the boom to the economy is really worth the potential hazard this drilling technique can have on the environment.

As many of our Calcasieu Parish readers know, fracking uses pressurized fluids to force oil and natural gas out of shale rock deposits deep below the surface of the earth. The oil and gas are collected while the waste water used in the process is disposed of. Unfortunately, as a number of studies have shown, this waste water is often contaminated by substances and compounds that are harmful to humans and the environment.

It's because of this danger that proper disposal and storage techniques need to be used when dealing with fracking waste water, especially to eliminate the risk of soil and water contamination. But as a recent case out of Texas shows, the disposal and storage process has not been perfected yet, which is leaving people and the environment at risk of exposure to harmful waste water.

In the Texas case, a natural resource company called Range Resources was fined $4.15 million for flaws in impoundment designs that led to soil and ground water contamination between 2009 and 2014. The impoundments were supposed to safely contain the fracking waste water but they instead leaked, causing contamination that may pose a risk to the surrounding area as well as residents.

Even though this happened in another state, it highlights the need for more scrutiny of the fracking process, even here in Louisiana, and raises questions about whether there are enough safety measures in place to protect the environment and residents from potential harm down the road.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Company Fined $4.15 Million for Fracking," David Lee, Sept. 22, 2014

Tags: Oil and Gas

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