Chemical & Gas Leaks

Do dangerous gases and other chemicals leak from fracking operations or well sites?

Yes. Releases of climate-changing methane and other dangerous chemicals, such as carcinogenic benzene and a variety of other toxic substances, are routine. NOAA in 2014 measured methane from Front Range Colorado oil/gas operations spewing into the atmosphere at almost 20 tons an hour and from Utah operations at almost 60 tons/hour. These rates correspond to percentage leakage rates of between 4 - 8%, precisely in line with previous research done by Howarth and Ingraffea at Cornell. If it takes you about 3 minutes to read and consider this page, another 4 tons of human-climate destroying methane will have been released by frackers into the atmosphere above Colorado and Utah.

Releases of benzene and other dangerous VOC’s were also measured by NOAA at levels seven times higher than previous government estimates. 

(Sources: Alberta Energy 2011 Field Surveillance Report / Denver Post / Howarth, Ingraffea, Cornell 2011)

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