In light of the increased pressure to drill for more natural gas in states across the country, this report focuses on the dangers to drinking water from gas drilling. In particular, we examined hydraulic fracturing (often called “fracking”), a commonly used process gas companies employ to extract natural gas or oil reserves. Natural gas exists in bubbles underground, much like bubbles in carbonated soda. Getting to these pockets of gas requires injecting millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals into the ground in order to crack open these bubbles in the rock to allow natural gas to flow to the surface.
Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year—threatening both the environment and human health. According to the EPA, pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threatening or fouling water quality in more than 10,000 miles of rivers and more than 200,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.