What Is Fracking And Its Effect On Water Quality Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 8 Subject: Sports - College Type: Term Paper Paper: #50185957 Related Topics: Hydraulic Fracturing, Water Pollution, Water Resources, Air Quality
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Fracking and Water Quality Ethics Literature Review

What is Fracking?

Fracking is used to extract natural gas from shale layers located deep in the ground. The impermeability of the shale layers leads to the gas being trapped. The rocks are blasted with pressurized water that contain sand and chemicals capable of increasing friction between the rocks and water. However, the percentage of the fluid consisting of the chemicals is very small. Some of the chemicals, for instance ethylene glycol, are poisonous, while other components are 'trade secrets'. The sand contained in the pressurized solution helps in cracking the rocks so that they release the gas (Schrope, 2012).

A lot of controversy has been generated by the increase in the sources of natural gas and oil obtained through the use of hydraulic fracturing. Those in support make the argument that fracking has the capacity to speed up growth in the economy, increase the energy supplies that can be sourced domestically, and help in transitioning to cleaner sources of energy (The Perryman Group, 2008; Considine, et al., 2010; Hultman, et. al., 2010; EPA, 2010). Those opposed tend to focus on the potential effects on the environment and public health given the proximity of the neighboring communities to the sources of energy (Boudet, et al., 2013).

Literature Review

Hydraulic fracturing is one cog in the wheel of the gas or...

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This process includes: the clearing of land where the wells are to be dug, construction of the transport infrastructure such as compressor stations and pipelines, processing of the extracted fossil fuels, water transportation, wastewater treatment, disposal of wastes, and bringing new populations to the community. Such activities have potential health, social, environmental, and economic impacts that come with fast growth in population as well as cycles of 'boom and bust' associated with the sector (Jacquet, 2009). How well these factors are managed, and their impact on the community is dependent on several factors. These factors include the time frame in question, the inherent characteristics of the area impacted, and such details as the nature of the population, and the area's history as far as extraction of fossil fuels is concerned (Brasier, et al., 2011).

Fracking and Water Resources

Several reports have been made on water contamination and overuse in various places. It has been noted by the Council of Canadian Academics (cited in Kairos, 2015) that there isn't enough evidence to show that shale gas development poses risks to water resources. However, if there is any actual risk, its extent cannot be accurately measured because scientific data is lacking. According to the council, the biggest threat happens to be gas leaks from the wells. For this problem, not even the current best practices offer a long-term solution (Kairos, 2015).

Social Impacts of Fracking

The Chief Medical Officer in New Brunswick…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Boudet, H. et al., 2013. "Fracking" controversy and communication: Using national survey. Energy Policy.

Brasier, K. Fillteau, M.; McLaughlin, D.; Jacquet, J.; Stedman, R.; Kelsey, T.; Goetz, S. 2011. Residents' perceptions of community and environmental impacts from development of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale: a comparison of Pennsylvania and New York cases. J. Rural Social Sci, Volume 26, p. 32-61.

Considine, T., Watson, R. & Blumsack, S., 2010. The Economic Impacts of the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Play: An Update, University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering.

EPA (2010). United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2010. Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources, Washington, D.C.: s.n.
Available at: http://environment.yale.edu/envy/stories/fracking-outpaces-science-on-its-impact [Accessed 15 September 2015].


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