While the Marcellus and Utica shale formations may be incredible sources of natural gas and have the potential to make people wealthy, there are growing environmental concerns about how that gas is extracted, in a method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Fracking uses a large amount of highly pressurized water mixed with sand and/or chemicals to widen fractures in rock layers and release petroleum, natural gas and other substances. If you are a landowner concerned about environmental damage to your property or the reclamation of land used in the course of an oil and gas drilling agreement, Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP may be able to assist you.
Fracking, Health and Environmental Concerns
Oil and gas production — and the transport of oil and gas through pipelines — has the potential to cause anticipated and unanticipated damage to your property. Beyond the damage to property, there can be significant damage to groundwater supplies, livestock, wild and endangered animals and other ecological harm. Many of these issues are not disclosed by oil and gas companies, pipeline businesses or others:
- Nearly 20 tons of chemicals are added to every 1 million gallons used in fracking — and each frack job can use 4 to 7 million gallons of water (or more).
- These chemicals include ethylbenzene, ethylene glycol, isopropanol, methanol and glutaraldehyde, which have been linked to numerous health problems, affecting the respiratory, reproductive, brain, and nervous systems; immune, gastrointestinal and endocrine systems; and resulting in developmental, cardiovascular, and blood diseases.
- Due to improper protection, houses have exploded and water has “caught on fire” due to excessive leaked methane from fracking operations.
- Private wells have been contaminated.
- Numerous chemical spills and leaks have taken place in Pennsylvania, including
- An 8,000-gallon spill of a “water/liquid gel” mixture into Stevens Creek and wetlands near Dimock.
- Wastewater spills in Washington County, killing fish, salamanders and crayfish.
- Discharge of fracking fluid into a Bradford County creek.
- A wastewater site catching fire near Hopewell.
- Tioga County cows quarantined after drinking leaked wastewater.
- Gas production site explosion in Lycoming County and other locations.
- 250 gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled in Union County.
The hazards associated with oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania include well blowouts; explosions; uncontrollable flows of oil, natural gas or well fluids; fires; formations with abnormal pressures; pipeline ruptures or spills; pollution; releases of toxic natural gas; and other environmental hazards. A Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP environmental and oil and gas attorney can review the potential for harm to your life, livelihood and property from drilling and pipeline issues. Our firm can provide guidance on what you can do to protect yourself, your family, your home and your environment.