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Home / Articles / Today / Environment Today /  Cornell Study Links Fracking Wastewater with Mortality in Farm Animals
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Monday, January 30,2012

Cornell Study Links Fracking Wastewater with Mortality in Farm Animals

It has been a rough week for the shale industry. Earthquakes have been tied to a deep wastewater injection well and resulted in, among other things, demonstrations on the lawn of the Ohio Statehouse. And residents in rural central New York are organizing door-to-door petition drives to halt hydraulic fracturing —if not in their state, at least in Madison and Oneida Counties.

A recently completed study by two Cornell University researchers indicates the process of hydraulic fracturing deep shale to release natural gas may be linked to shortened lifespan and reduced or mutated reproduction in cattle—and maybe humans.

Fracking (the colloquial name for hydraulic fracturing), involves drilling a well about 8,000 feet down, and then up to about 13,000 feet horizontally. Three to five million gallons of fresh water, specially formulated sand and up to 250,000 gallons of chemicals, some of them highly toxic, are poured into the well at great pressure, breaking the deep shale and releasing the coveted gas.

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