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Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing

Order Code: CL1165
ISBN Number: 9781466514676
Publisher: CRC Press
No. of Pages: 477
Date of Publication: 2012

Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing


Price: 79.99

  • Examines the potential hazards of hydraulic fracturing when performed without the proper checks and balances
  • Covers the most recent regulatory requirements
  • Discusses remediation techniques for hazardous spills
  • Balances the need for clean energy sources with environmental concerns
  • Addresses occupational safety issues


There is a strong need for innovation and the development of viable renewable energy sources. Recent technological advances now allow natural gas supplies - previously believed inaccessible or nonexistent - to be discovered, mined, and processed for both industrial and consumer use. The technology, a controversial process that is alternatively called hydraulic fracturing, fracking, fracing, or hydrofracking, has greatly expanded natural gas production in the United States. Presenting a balanced discussion, Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of hydraulic fracturing used to extract natural gas, along with gas exploration and production in various shale fields.

As the use of hydraulic fracturing has grown, concerns about its environmental and public health impacts have also increased - one of the most significant concerns being the fluids that are injected into rock formations to cause the fracturing contain potentially hazardous chemical additives. The book covers all facets of the issue, including ongoing controversies about the environmental and operator safety issues arising from possible water pollution, drinking water contamination, on-the-job safety hazards, and harmful chemical exposure to workers and residents near well areas.

The author discusses both the pros and cons of hydraulic fracturing, explaining the process in great detail. He describes the benefits of hydraulic fracturing and its importance in making the United States energy independent by drilling for its own resources, as well as the potential impacts to the surrounding environment. The text also includes suggestions and recommendations on how to mitigate environmental damage. Arguably the first book of its kind, this is the go-to text on the use and impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

Topics covered:

Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Shalenanza
  • The Other Side of the Coin
  • Earthquakes
  • Internal Structure of Earth
  • Key Definitions
  • Purpose of Text
  • Thought-Provoking Discussion Questions
  • References and Recommended Reading


Shale Gas
  • Importance of Shale Gas
  • Versatility of Natural Gas
  • Alternative or Renewable Energy
  • The 411 on Natural Gas
  • The 411 on Processing and Refining Natural Gas
  • Thought-Provoking Discussion Questions
  • References and Recommended Reading


Shale Gas Geology
  • Introduction
  • Sedimentation
  • Types of Sedimentary Rocks
  • Chemical Sedimentary Rocks
  • Physical Characteristics of Sedimentary Rocks
  • Sedimentary Rock Facies
  • Thought-Provoking Discussion Questions
  • References and Recommended Reading


Shale Gas Plays
  • Unconventional Natural Gas Resources
  • Distribution of Unconventional Natural Shale Gas
  • Fast Forward to the Future
  • Thought-Provoking Discussion Questions
  • References and Recommended Reading


Shale Gas Sources
  • Shale Gas in the United States
  • Geologic Time Scale
  • Active U.S. Shale Gas Plays
  • Thought-Provoking Discussion Questions
  • References and Recommended Reading


Hydraulic Fracturing. The Process
  • Poor Farm Folk to Texas Rich
  • Drilling for Water Versus Drilling for Shale Gas
  • Water Well Systems
  • Components of a Water Well
  • Shale Gas Drilling Development Technology
  • Drilling
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Fracking Water Supply
  • Thought-Provoking Discussion Questions
  • References and Recommended Reading


Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Background
  • Fracking Fluids and Their Constituents
  • Trade Secrets and Proprietary Chemicals
  • Thought-Provoking Discussion Questions
  • References and Recommended Reading


Environmental Considerations
  • Introduction
  • Access Roads, Well Pads, and Mineral Rights
  • Horizontal Wells
  • Thought-Provoking Discussion Questions
  • References and Recommended Reading


Laws and Regulations Affecting Shale Gas Development and Operations
    Introduction
  • Regulations for Shale Gas Operations
  • Pollution: Effects Often Easy to See, Feel, Taste, or Smell
  • Regulatory Structure
  • Water Quality Regulations
  • Clean Water Act
  • Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Oil Pollution Act of 1990
  • Air Quality
  • Clean Air Act
  • Clean Air Act and Hydraulic Fracturing Operations
  • Land (Soil) Quality
  • Oil and Gas Operations on Public Lands
  • Superfund (CERCLA)
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
  • OSHA Oil and Gas Drilling, Servicing, and Storage Standards
  • OSHA Standards Applicable to Shale Gas Operations
  • Thought-Provoking Discussion Questions
  • References and Recommended Reading


  • Glossary
  • Appendix A. Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Appendix B. Case Study Locations for Hydraulic Fracturing Study
  • Index