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Yep, There’s Something in the Water
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was created to ensure protection of the public’s drinking water supply. BUT, not all processes that introduce pollutants into water are being supervised right now.
In fact, since 2005, the process of hydraulic fracturing—used to extract natural gas–has been free from SDWA protections.
Hydraulic fracturing is a means of extracting natural gas by blasting a solution of water, sand and chemicals into underground rock formations at high pressure.
By disturbing these rock formations, underground aquifers are subject to pollutants as well as the surface water to which they are connected.
Hydraulic fracturing provides the opportunity to tap difficult wells or to ramp up production of aging wells. However, the concern is that this disruption will also release previously undisturbed chemicals into the watershed such as mercury and arsenic.
A recent U.S. House resolution, the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009 (FRAC Act), calls for companies to disclose what chemicals they are using in their processes–noting that the disposal of this drilling water mixture must be disposed of afterward.
With SWDA supervision, natural gas companies would be held accountable for the chemicals they are drilling into communities’ water supplies.
Click here to tell Congress to pass the FRAC Act today.
– By Kolleen Kawa, National Wildlife Federation