Fracking, the act of injecting a chemical soup of substances like lead and formaldehyde into fissures to expel natural gas, has been linked time and time again to both biological and geological consequences. Doctors have urged officials to ban fracking due to the serious links to cancer and other life-threatening conditions, and experts have been warning for years about how fracking may be to blame for certain earthquake ‘pockets’ around the nation.
In January of 2012, Ohio lawmakers placed a ban on fracking after a panel of experts said that they are certain the highly toxic gas-gathering process was to blame for an outbreak of earthquakes within the state.
The seismologist experts say that fracking is to blame for an entire string of quakes that have been troubling Ohio citizens and beyond. Among these earthquakes is a 4.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Ohio on New Year’s Eve 2012. In the past, fracking has also been linked to the appearance of mass sinkholes around the country — sinkholes that have actually been known to leak radiation along with other toxic substances. The sinkholes, which I’ve covered extensively in the past, actually forced residents to evacuate their homes nearby.
Described as ‘apocalyptic’, the sinkholes were behemoth in size, swallowing up 100 foot trees and reaching up to the size of around 4 football fields.
But examining the health effects alone, even the EPA has found groundwater contamination as a result of fracking, which coincides with the multiple reports of contaminated tap water that can literally be set on fire. Below you can see a video of a woman who does just that after living near a fracking site:
Seismotologists are still tying all of the events together, however it appears that fracking is at least one common thread between all of these scenarios. And some experts are saying that these events won’t stop anytime soon. A representative from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University named John Armbruster stated:
“The earthquakes will trickle on as a kind of a cascading process once you’ve caused them to occur… This one year of pumping is a pulse that has been pushed into the ground, and it’s going to be spreading out for at least a year.”
This means that the effects of the fracking technique can be felt for at least a year following the process, demonstrating the very delicate balance within the Earth that once disrupted can result in severe consequences. And to give you an idea of how prevalent fracking is within the United States, within Ohio alone there were 177 wells in use by fracking operations in 2012. It was back in 2010 when a company known as D&L began drilling thousands of feet into the Earth, an act that has caused earthquakes to follow according to the scientists. The company drills 9,000 feet into the Earth in order to inject its chemical stew, and is now being temporarily banned from fracking in Ohio following the findings.
The reason I highlight this report from 2012 is that the pieces of the puzzle are not being placed together in many cases in regards to fracking. Whether or not the mass sinkholes and earthquakes that continue to spring up around the globe are entirely caused by sinkholes, which they certainly may not be, is up for debate. What is scary, however, is that very few researchers are examining the relationship between these events and fracking sites. When you take a close look, it is easy to see that fracking at least threatens the health of residents in a very serious way.