What is Fracking

Excerpt from "Triple Divide" documentary
Produced by: Public Herald
Narrated by: Mark Ruffalo

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a well development process invented in 1947 which injects fluid at high-pressure into underground rock formations in order to create cracks and release the trapped natural gas. According to FracFocus, a combination of hundreds of toxic chemicals may be used in fracking fluid including boric acid, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, lead, formaldehyde, chlorine, and mercury. Up to 300 tons of chemicals and 8 million gallons of water may be used for each frack. These injections are exempt from the rules of the Safe Drinking Water Act and oftentimes gas companies do not disclose the chemicals used because they are protected as trade secrets.

A study done by Yale School of Public Health, showed that these chemicals “have been linked to reproductive and developmental health problems, and the majority had undetermined toxicity due to insufficient information ... The researchers determined that wastewater produced by fracking may be even more toxic than the fracking fluids themselves.”

According to Food & Water Watch, “wastewater is used to frack more wells, but it can also be discharged into surface waters or stored in pits until it evaporates into the atmosphere or percolates into the ground. When awaiting disposal in storage pits, ponds or surface impound-ments, radioactive materials can become concentrated. For disposal, underground injection is the most common method. But this practice can put aquifers and drinking water at risk and has been linked to increased earthquake activity.”

In June 2020, a Grand Jury in Pennsylvania USA, after a 2-year investigation, found that the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Health failed to protect its citizens and that two natural gas companies were charged with environmental crimes. In their findings, citizens had water that was cloudy, with black film and black sludge. Foul and metallic tasting. Sores all over bodies. Pets and livestock. Hard to breathe when taking showers. Nausea. Gushing nose bleeds. A real life horror story.