Hydraulic fracturing (otherwise known as “fracking”) is a method of drilling for natural gas (typically) that involves digging a deep well and pumping a mixture of water and chemicals at high pressure into the ground to force the methane gas out.
Fracking has been used more frequently since 2005 after loopholes exempted the process from important federal environmental laws like the Safe Drinking Water Act. Many communities and environmental organizations are worried about the air and water pollution caused by the process. Fracking wastewater contains many unknown chemicals that have been known to contaminate groundwater supplies.
In this green quiz, we test your knowledge of the fracking process.
How is the wastewater used in fracking disposed of?
A. Stored in tanks above or underground indefinitely
B. Recycled for use in another fracking well
C. Returned to the water supply
D. Purchased by towns to de-ice roads
E. All of the above
The correct answer is E. All of the above. Congrats to our green quiz winners for guessing the correct answer.
From the Natural Resources Defense Council: "The most common management options currently in use are recycling for additional hydraulic fracturing, treatment and discharge to surface waters, underground injection, storage in impoundments and tanks, and land application (road spreading). All of these options present some risk of harm to health or the environment, so they are regulated by the federal government and the states. But many of the current regulatory programs are not adequate to keep people and ecosystems safe."