Why Should Connecticut Ban the Importation of Fracking Waste?
Although natural gas burns much cleaner than other fuels, the extraction of it remains extremely problematic. The extraction methods, called fracking, are poorly regulated and are causing many serious environmental problems.
In other states where wells have been "fracked," ground water has been contaminated, rivers have been polluted by fracking waste being released into them, and in some instances, people and animals near fracking wells have become sick.
Fracking is a method of extracting natural gas from deep in the ground by injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals under high pressure into dense rock formations such as shale, in order to crack the rock and release the gas.
This new drilling technique in shale formations has allowed the gas industry to reach large reserves that were previously considered uneconomical. Unlike traditional vertical fracking, horizontal fracking requires massive amounts of water, sand, and potentially toxic chemicals to unearth the natural gas that lies underneath the shale. Enormous holding ponds or tanks are also needed to store the chemically contaminated waste water that comes back up the hole after wells have been fractured.
Bill McKibben, the noted author and environmentalist writes, "Fracking has caused enormous problems with underground water contamination and aboveground waste disposal - entire streams have been destroyed."
According to a minority staff report released last year by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, more than 650 commonly used fracking products contain chemicals that are "known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or listed as hazardous air pollutants." When the fracking fluids come up from the fracking proceedures they not only contain toxic chemicals, they also often contain radio active compounds from deep inside the earth.
At present, federal laws do not protect the health of either the environment or people. Connecticut must protect itself from the importation of toxic fracking wastes.
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