Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of New York has filed a lawsuit against the federal government for failing to properly study the effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) before granting permits to gas drillers. The lawsuit seeks to stop fracking in the Delaware River Basin until a comprehensive analysis of the dangers is performed by the government.
Schneiderman warned Washington last month that he would file suit if the government didn’t take immediate action to study the effects of fracking. Schneiderman says that federal officials have failed to assess the fracking process properly, and that the environmental protections for the Delaware River Basin have not been evaluated by government officials to determine if they are adequate to address the fracking boom. Independent studies have shown that fracking fluids contain numerous toxic chemicals, and that the potential to contaminate water supplies is enormous.
Currently, standards for the Delaware River Basin would allow as many as 18,000 new gas wells in the coming years, and the majority of these will employ the controversial fracking method. These rules allow companies to create new gas wells without having to adhere to any environmental standards that other industries follow in the area.
Chesapeake Energy holds most of these leases, and has claimed that their fracking fluid is 99% sand and water, with “chemical additives” that are virtually harmless because they are also found in “everyday consumer products and cleaners.”
In April of this year, a fracking well operated by Chesapeake Energy in Pennsylvania blew, leaking contaminated water into nearby aquifers.
DeSmogBlog has put together a comprehensive report detailing the dangers of fracking, which includes exclusive interviews, analysis, and data.