Groundbreaking Report Calculates Damage Done by Fracking

03/12/2013 23:29

“The bottom line is this: The numbers on fracking add up to an environmental nightmare and for our environment and for public health, we need to put a stop to fracking.”

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As federal policy makers decide on rules for fracking on public lands, a new report calculates the toll of this dirty drilling on our environment, including 280 billion gallons of toxic wastewater generated by fracking in 2012—enough to flood all of Washington, DC, in a 22-foot deep toxic lagoon. The Environment America Research & Policy Center reportFracking by the Numbers, is the first to measure the damaging footprint of fracking to date.

“The numbers don’t lie—fracking has taken a dirty and destructive toll on our environment,” said John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America. “If this dirty drilling continues unchecked, these numbers will only get worse.”

“At health clinics, we’re seeing nearby residents experiencing nausea, headaches and other symptoms linked to fracking pollution,” said David Brown, a toxicologist who has reviewed health data from Pennsylvania. “With billions of gallons of toxic waste coming each year, we’re just seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in terms of health risks.”

The report measured key indicators of fracking threats across the country, including:

·       280 billion gallons of toxic wastewater generated in 2012—enough to flood all of Washington, DC, in a 22-foot deep toxic lagoon

·       450,000 tons of air pollution produced in one year

 

·       250 billion gallons of fresh water used since 2005

·       360,000 acres of land degraded since 2005

·       100 million metric tons of global warming pollution since 2005

Fracking also inflicts other damage not quantified in the report—ranging from contamination of residential wells to ruined roads to earthquakes at disposal sites.

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