August 20th, 2013
Question: What are the impacts of extraction activities on the environmental and human health?
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a drilling method used to extract oil or natural gas from deep in the Earth (Bamberger). In the fracking process, cracks in and below the Earth's surface are opened and widened by injecting water, chemicals, and sand at high pressure. Hydraulic fracturing takes place over 2 to 5 days potential 25-40 year lifetime of a well. Meaning that you can use the same well to do hydraulic fracturing for a life plan of 25-40 years (Bamberger). America holds large natural gas resources in coal-beds, shale, and tight sands. Many of the gas companies extract the gases by directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which has led to a rapid increase in the development of these resources. Directional drilling is the process of drilling a curved well, in order to reach a target that is not directly beneath the drill site (McKenzie). This is useful in many circumstances where the area above the targeted deposit is inaccessible. “The number of unconventional natural gas wells in the US grew from 18,485 in 2004 to 25,145 in 2007 and an expected to continue increasing through at least 2020” (McKenzie). Also opens the door to potential environment health problems, For example, pipelines and wellheads can explode, can produce toxin air emissions, creating human and animal health risk; and fracking generates liquid wastes that can contaminate surface and drinking water (Schmidt). In this paper, I am going to explore the impacts of extraction activities on the environment and human health.
One of the environmental impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing is the use of toxic chemicals during the fracking process and the occurring release of toxic chemicals and radioactive materials during well processing. ”Fracking fluid flow...