Hydraulic Fracturing Negligence
Hydraulic Fracturing (also called fracking, hydrofracking, or even frack jobbing) is a method of harvesting fossil fuels from beneath the earth's surface, which utilizes hydrodynamic principals to either facilitate, or augment the extraction of the sought mineral from the ground.
The technique is called "fracking" because it employs the creation of "fractures" in layers of rock to open seams of coal, natural gas, petroleum, or other minerals for extraction.
Fracturing is utilized in both vein and dike extraction methods; and, is characterized in any method employed by the use of highly pressurized liquid, which creates the fractures. Ironically though, it is exactly that pressurized induction of liquid which has predicated some of the most-significant concerns associated with hydrofracking, such as water contamination, soil contamination, air pollution, and property damage.
In fact, while the long term effects of unintended results of frack jobbing are not entirely understood, many countries have either mandated moratoriums on the practice, or simply banned it completely, as is the case in France.
If you, a loved, or your community, have been exposed to Hydraulic Fracturing, and believe that you or they have suffered from property damage or personal injuries due to Hydraulic Fracturing, contact a Hydraulic Fracturing lawyer at the Finz firm now toll free at (855) TOP-FIRM or complete the Free Hydraulic Fracturing Case Evaluation form.
How does Hydraulic Fracturing Work?
Hydraulic Fracturing involves pumping fracture fluid (usually a slurry of water, chemical additives and proppants-particles, usually sand or ceramics, designed to keep fractures open after they have been created to facilitate extraction of the resource) into wellbores or mineral vein. That pumping of fluid creates a gradient in pressure, and increases the pressure on the walls of the wellbore. When the tensile strength of the wall of the wellbore becomes insufficient to maintain the pressure applied by the induction of the fracture fluid, hydraulic fracturing occurs. When that happens, new channels, usually perpendicular to the wellbore, are created, which allow the oil or natural gas to flow back into the wellbore.
In this way, the total yield of the wellbore is increased by whatever quantity of oil or natural gas resided in the cache which was accessed when the fracturing fluid's pressure created the new channel.
The technique can be, and has been, employed to more than double the yield possible using traditional bore and pump methods with a single well. However, the byproducts of the method, and the dangers associated with its practice have, for many, overwhelmingly outweighed the potential benefits.
What are some of the Negative Results that can Result from Hydraulic Fracturing?
With the increase of the practice of Hydraulic Fracturing since the year 2000, there have been lockstep increases in the incidents of claims of water contamination by private well owners, who reside near fracking sites. And, while the United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Lisa Jackson, has stated that she was "not aware of any proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water," there are a myriad of reports surfacing wherein the "fracking process," or more-often its byproducts (evaporation pools, pipeline compromises, etc.) and the mismanagement of the byproducts, have wreaked havoc in communities across the country.
For example, in 2006, in Clark Wyoming, following detection of leaking fluid and methane near a gas well, it was discovered that, eight-million (8,000,000) cubic feet of methane were released, which contaminated the local groundwater. And, Dimock Pennsylvania, more than a dozen water wells near fracking sites were discovered to be contaminated with methane-one of which actually exploded. That incident resulted in the gas company involved in the nearby fracking to financially compensate the victims; and, to construct a pipeline to bring them freshwater. That said, the company, to this day, continues to deny that, any of the damage was caused by hydraulic fracturing.
The damage done by hydraulic fracturing does not only come from the process itself; but, in many instances, it is a result of the mismanagement of waste water, and the unavoidable emission of gasses into the atmosphere.
Moreover, the health effects of exposure to the chemicals in fracking and their byproducts, have been shown to be akin to those experienced by individuals in the past when exposed damgerous chemicals. Since the chemicals utilized in fracking are the same seen in other volatile organic compounds and significantly dangerous inorganic compounds, it is not difficult to envision what the eventual effects of exposure will be.
Additionally, in the United Kingdom, a report was released, which indicated that fracking was the case of small earthquakes that, occurred during drilling for shale gas. And, the United States Geological Survey reported that "[e]arthquakes induced by human activity have been document in a few locations," where "the cause was injection of fluids into deep wells for waste disposal and secondary recover of oil, and the use of reservoirs for water supplies."
Many countries have already moved to stave-off the damages of hydraulic fracturing: Australia has mandated a moratorium of new licenses; France entirely banned it in 2011; and, South Africa has also imposed a moratorium. In the United States, however, while there is still debate over its utility, it has not been nationally curtailed by the Federal Government. Instead, on a state-by-state basis, there have been legislative hearings (for example the process for public comments is scheduled to close in New York by the middle of January 2012) to calculate the balance of the benefits to residents (through landowners' lease agreements) against definite dangers of the practice.
Even still, with the dangers of Hydraulic Fracturing apparent, it is only a matter of time until significant destructive impacts befall the property, and the health of communities in which it is practiced.
Legal Help for Hydraulic Fracturing Victims
If you, a loved, or your community, have been exposed to Hydraulic Fracturing, and believe that you or they have suffered property damage or personal injuries due to Hydraulic Fracturing, contact a Hydraulic Fracturing lawyer at the Finz firm now toll free at (855) TOP-FIRM or complete the Free Hydraulic Fracturing Case Evaluation form.