- Local/regional pollution
Fracking involves the use of water, sand, salt, citric acid, benzene or lead, According to a US federal report about 750 chemicals have been used in the process, 29 of which are either likely or known carcinogens. Most fracking water returns to the surface and if not re-injected underground it must be carried away for treatment; it can be hazardous if not properly isolated and stored. While it is underground there are fears that it could also contaminate the water table.
- Seismic activity
The injection of wastewater from the fracking process into the ground has caused earthquakes in a number of US states including Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. In the UK, exploratory work for a fracking site caused earth tremors around Blackpool in North West England.
- Climate Change
The USA’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found that methane leakage from natural gas fields outweigh any climate benefit of natural gas, even when used as an alternative to coal. Furthermore, the pursuit of more hydrocarbons through fracking may be diverting industry and governments from finding lasting alternatives to a carbon-based economy. Alternatives are essential if temperature rises are to be contained within safe limits.