The Effects Of Fracking On Environmental Impacts On The Environment

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Substantial societal concerns regarding fracking 's environmental impacts have been raised. Firstly, the water requirements are significant, with an average of 20 million litres used per well. This is 50-100 times more water than in conventional natural gas extraction. An increase in fracking may exacerbate current global water stress due to pollution, climate change and population growth (Kim 2014). In addition to this, the water mixtures used in fracking contain an average of "200 000 litres of acids, biocides, scale inhibitors, friction reducers and surfactants... many of which are toxic, carcinogenic or mutagenic." (Howarth et al. 2013 pp. 272). Moreover, there are concerns about the release of heavy metals, hydrocarbons and natural salts which are trapped in shale. There have been concerns about these chemicals contaminating drinking water. This can occur via the leaking of fracking fluids or gas into ground-water or streams, blowouts or leaky wellheads (Jackson et al. 2014 pp. 337-338). These concerns also affect the environment, with risks of damage to ecosystems. In the US, the 'Halliburton Loophole ' has been particularly controversial, as it allows companies to bypass the Safe Drinking Water Act and not disclose possible contaminants used in fracking (Howarth et al. 2013 pp.272). Finally, fracking water cannot be reused in fracking or elsewhere due to the contaminants present (De Avila 2015). Concerns have been also raised regarding air pollution, as large diesel
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