Protect the Climate, Don't Frack the Delaware!
Days from now, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is considering proposed regulations to allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin, an area that provides drinking water for 15 million people in the eastern United States -- including New York.
Fracking poses major risks to the quality of our drinking water -- and studies show that fracking has the potential to be worse than coal when it comes to climate pollution that causes global warming.*
Representatives on the DRBC that will vote on the proposed regulations on November 21st, and has the power to take a stand and stop the the fracking of the Delaware River.
Let's send a strong message and tell the DRBC to stand up to big polluters and Save the Delaware. Fill out the petition on the right and get more details on how to plug into the hearings on the 21st here.
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.
For each frack, 80-300 tons of chemicals may be used. Presently, the natural gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals used, but scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.
The average well is up to 8,000 feet deep. The depth of drinking water aquifers is about 1,000 feet. The problems typically stem from poor cement well casings that leak natural gas as well as fracking fluid into water wells.
The gas comes up wet in produced water and has to be separated from the wastewater on the surface. Only 30-50% of the water is typically recovered from a well. This wastewater can be highly toxic.
As the VOCs are evaporated and come into contact with diesel exhaust from trucks and generators at the well site, ground level ozone is produced. Ozone plumes can travel up to 250 miles.
Natural gas is mostly methane, which is a much more potent greenhouse gas, especially in the short term, with 105 times more warming impact, pound for pound, than carbon dioxide (CO2). As much as 8 percent of the methane in shale gas leaks into the air during the lifetime of a hydraulic shale gas well -- up to twice what escapes from conventional gas production.