Fracking lawyers are investigating instances of illnesses, decreased property values and environmental pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. Fracking fluid is comprised of water, tons of gallons of chemicals and sand.
Up to 600 chemicals are used in fracking fluid, including known carcinogens and toxics. Dangerous chemicals used in fracking activities include:
The fluid is then pumped into the ground through a pipeline at high pressure. When the fluid reaches the end of the well, the high pressure causes the nearby shale rock to crack. This creates fissures in the ground surrounding the well and causes natural gas to flow into the well.
At the same time, the fracking mixture – made with multiple toxic chemicals – can be released into the ground and seep into the surrounding groundwater. Studies have shown that methane concentrations are 17 times higher in drinking wells near fracturing sites than normal wells.
Over the past few years, the natural gas and oil industry has increased their fracking operations in the Midwest. More recently, hydraulic fracturing has started in parts of Southern Illinois as officials have blocked legislation that would have required a two-year moratorium on fracking. Critics of hydraulic fracking warn that the move could cause decreased property values, negative health impacts to those living in close proximity to natural gas wells and seriously contaminated water, soil and air in the vicinity of the wells.
Many property owners throughout the United States have entered into lease agreements that allow natural gas companies to build wells on their property. However, federal law does not require those companies to disclose to landowners the dangers of fracking, like they must to investors or environmental regulators.
The fracking process carries several risks. The use of toxic chemicals has caused people to suffer with water, soil and air contamination as well as other property damage. In addition, people have become ill or injured from exposure to fracking sites and fracking equipment.
Apart from toxic chemical exposure, fracking can cause gas to migrate onto or into people’s property, sometimes causing illness or explosions.
Common environmental problems that can be caused by fracking include the following:
People who live within the vicinity of drilling of natural gas have made reports of foul smells in their water. Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Arkansas are just some of the states where hydraulic fracturing may have been linked to contaminated water and air and illnesses.
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