Fracking is getting safer and should present no major environmental problems in New York when the state allows drilling to commence—that’s the headline from a university-funded study released today by the Shale Resources and Society Institute at the University of Buffalo.
A team of researchers from UB, University of Wyoming
and Penn State University examined violations at almost 4,000 natural
gas wells in Pennsylvania between January 2008 and August 2011. The
peer-reviewed study found approximately two-thirds of the 3,000
violations were administrative, 38 percent were environmental, and only
25 were deemed “major,” defined as site restoration failures, serious
contamination of water supplies, major land spills, blowouts and venting
and gas migration.
The majority were “due to operator error, negligence, or a failure to
follow proper procedures when drilling,” according to the report. “This
suggests that the industry has room for improvement, and the frequency
of environmental events can be reduced,” the authors wrote.