Tag: hydrofracking

Maryland: Another Study Suggests Fracking May Be Bad for You

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fracking in Maryland

Maryland officials are currently taking public comment on a University of Maryland study on the likely effects of fracking in the state. The report includes “52 recommendations for assessing and offsetting potential impacts.” They’re preparing to make a final decision on the practice in consultation with an O’Malley-appointed advisory panel — sometime in the next few months.

Meanwhile, Yale researchers have determined — from a survey of 180 households living off well water in southwestern Pennsylvania — that people who live closer to natural gas wells are more likely to report certain upper respiratory ailments and skin conditions. The correlation holds up even when results were adjusted for “gender, age, educational level, smoking, and awareness of environmental risk factors.”

Morgan State Professor Weighs In on Fracking in Maryland

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hydrofracking

A lot of the public discussion about the relative dangers and benefits of extracting methane gas through hydraulic fracturing is being led by politicians, corporations, and citizens who are either inclined or disinclined to trust politicians and corporations. It’s a debate that could use more input from independent experts. Thankfully, professor emeritus at Morgan State University Donald C. Helm, who has written papers on the process for scientific journals, took the time pen an opinion piece for the Baltimore Sun.

According to Helm, the contamination of freshwater aquifers is an inevitable outcome of fracking, due to “the upward migration of fractures from depth.” In arid climates the upward-migrating fractures continue all the way to the surface. In places like Maryland, near the land surface the fractures transform into “ribbons of enhanced porosity.”

But as far as our freshwater aquifers are concerned, the outcome is the same: contamination.

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