Government wants to know what chemicals are used in fracking

Whether hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, causes earthquakes or pollutes groundwater is still being studied. There are prominent and outspoken pro-frackers like T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire chairman and CEO of hedge fund BP Capital, who says that fracking is 100 per cent safe, period. In his view, there has never been a single piece of evidence that fracking creates any problems of any kind. He claims to have been fracking since 1952, and to have fracked over 2,000 wells since, with no environmental issues of any kind.

Fracking-hydrdaulic-fracturing-EPA-gas-drilling-energy-chemicals-EDIWeekly
The US Environmental Protection Agency is investigating reports that gases from tracking operations have been found in drinking water in several US states. The Canadian government wants the tracking industry to voluntarily disclose what chemicals are used in the tracking process.

Others take a less one-sided view of the question. Scientists in the US, for instance, have been studying increased seismic activity in Oklahoma after a report by the National Academies of Science in 2012 found that natural gas production and the high-pressure injection of wastewater deep into the earth were increasing the risk of earthquakes.

Aside from the seismological impacts of fracking, more environmentalists are concerned about the potential for pollution of groundwater. Of great concern is the fact that in Canada companies engaged in fracking are not required to disclose the chemical composition of the fluids they use. It is known that these include hydrochloric acid and ethylene glycol, or antifreeze, among many others. The chemicals are mixed with water and sand and are used to break apart the shale rock deep underground, thus releasing the gas. Industry people insist that the chemicals and the water that they contaminate are not in contact with groundwater. The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission says there are no documented cases of groundwater contamination by fracking materials.

Now the government, which says it needs more information about the process, wants these companies to disclose, on a voluntary basis, the chemicals they use.

This comes as evidence continues to mount that there has been contamination of groundwater at depths of up to two kilometres in the United States. The link between fracking and gases showing up in drinking water is said to be “unquestionable” in certain areas of the US, including Colorado and Wyoming, according to a spokesman for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The US Environmental Protection Agency is currently investigating this link and is due to report on its findings this year.

What the Canadian government intends to do with the voluntary information about chemicals used, to be provided by fracking companies, is not clear at this time.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Keystone XL clears another hurdle but fight not over
  • India interested in oil and gas as well as uranium from Canada
  • China Opens Solar Highway, Closes in Under a Week
  • If Keystone XL dies, will Energy East replace it?
  • Slight drop in April manufacturing sales due to petroleum, aerospace
  • Government wants to know what chemicals are used in fracking
  • Honda Canada makes its 7-millionth car, a Civic EX Sedan
  • World's largest gate valves will operate in Texas water pipeline
  • Scientists Create Remarkable Graphene Filter
  • Ontario homebuilder first to offer power storage system as option
  • Danger Doc Robinson: researchers at RMIT University find vehicle vibrations may induce sleep in drivers
  • Manufacturing sales rebound in August; industry must "reinvent" itself to prosper
  • Airbus Tests Self-Flying Taxi
  • GPS III set to launch December 18: U.S. Air Force to launch via Space X Falcon 9 paylod; will be harder to jam, more secure and accurate
  • Ethical Concerns Rise Over the Future of Autonomous Vehicles
  • 3 billion bottles, cans and containers diverted out of landfill as deposit programs and recycling management hit new milestone in Ontario
  • Space engineering firm COM DEV announces major satellite contract
  • Chrysler expanding Windsor assembly plant for "future vehicle"
  • Building code change could help drain water heat recovery manufacturers
  • Microsoft acquires Montreal AI firm that creates "curious" machines that think like humans
Scroll to Top