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Ohio Utica Shale

New York study cites fracking threat to water

By Bob Downing Published: August 7, 2012

From Platts:

Stony Brook University researchers asserted massive hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale poses "substantial potential risk" to waterways, but a drilling industry spokesman asserted the claims are based on faulty data.

"Even in a best case scenario, an individual well would potentially release at least 200 cubic meters of contaminated fluids," researchers Daniel Rozell and Sheldon Reaven said.

Regulators should consider additional mandatory steps to reduce the potential of drinking water contamination from salts and naturally occurring radioactive materials, such as uranium, radium and radon from the rapidly expanding fracking industry, the researchers said.

Many treatment facilities "are not designed to handle hydraulic fracturing wastewater," the researchers said.

Rozell and Reaven estimated that 40,000 wells would be drilled if only 10% of the Marcellus shale region is developed.

Under their best-case median risk calculation, they said the volume of contaminated wastewater from these wells "would equate to several hours flow of the Hudson River or a few thousand Olympic-sized swimming pools."

The researchers' assertions were made in a paper entitled "Water Pollution Risk Associated with Natural Gas Extraction from the Marcellus Shale" and published by the Society for Risk Analysis' in its August 2012 journal.

Chris Tucker, a spokesman for Energy In Depth, an industry advocacy group, said, "This is just another case here of 'garbage in, garbage out'. To be clear: these guys found no cases of actual contamination, or actual pollution, or actual migration. So in absence of that, they just modeled a bunch of hypotheticals based on scenarios that don't, haven't and will never exist."

You can access the full report by clicking here.




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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.