A new study focusing on the Eagle Ford Shale Play, finds that air contamination around fracking sites is likely not inherent to the oil and gas extraction process.
Since the shale boom exploded in 2008, controversy has surrounded the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), with many concerned about the potential environmental and health dangers. The University of Texas at Arlington published a new study last week that should be encouraging news to anyone involved in the oil and gas industry and those concerned about the dangers of fracking.
The study took samples around fracking sites in the Eagle Ford and found highly variable levels of benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene compounds (BTEX), but all within federally mandated acceptable limits for short-term exposure. The study goes on to suggest that these compounds are not inherent in the extraction process, but can be attributed to mechanical inefficiencies.
If this research proves reliable than it is good news because it means that providing safe fracking methods is within our control. It might also lead to shifting the debate away from crushing the practice all together to working to provide the safest procedures that benefit us all.