Fracking & Air Pollution

Oil and gas development negatively impacts air quality. Construction, drilling, storage, transportation, processing, and the burning of fossil fuels are all sources of serious air pollutants known to harm humans and the environment. The articles below reflect FracTracker’s work as it relates fracking and air pollution.

Tour Visible Air Emissions

Often times we wonder what might be coming off of an oil and gas well pad or out of a compressor station. While many of the emissions might be invisible to the naked eye, there are situations when it is possible to see such cases of air pollution. Let us take you on a digital tour of a few examples of visible air emissions.

FracTracker Air Articles

Explore the links below to learn about fracking and air pollution through visualizations such as maps, digital atlases of critical watersheds, and aerial photography.

California Regulators Approve More Oil Well Permits Amid a Crisis of Leaking Oil Wells that Should be Plugged

FracTracker’s in-the-field inspections and updated analysis of CalGEM permit data shows that California’s regulatory practices and permitting policies risk exposing frontline communities to VOCs from oil and gas well sites.

PA Environment Digest Blog: Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Dispose Of Drill Cuttings By ‘Dusting’

David Hess reports on the pervasive & dangerous practice of waste disposal at oil and gas well drilling sites via “dusting.”

Los Angeles, California skyline

California Oil & Gas Setbacks Recommendations Memo

The purpose of this memo is to recommend guidelines to CalGEM for evaluating the economic value of the social benefits and costs to people and the environment in requiring a 2,500 foot setback for oil and gas drilling (OGD) activities.

Undermined: Voices from the Frontlines of Frac Sand Mining

FracTracker and Public Lab, with support from Save the Hills Alliance, produced “Undermined,” an audio story featuring interviews with three residents impacted by the Hi-Crush Mine in Augusta, Wisconsin.

Documenting emissions from new oil and gas wells in California

  Working with the environmental nonprofit Earthworks, FracTracker Alliance filmed emissions from oil and gas sites that have been issued permits in California under Governor Gavin Newsom since the beginning of 2019. Using state-of-the-art technology called optical gas imaging (OGI), we documented otherwise invisible toxic pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) being released from oil […]

Incinerators: Dinosaurs in the world of energy generation

  In this article, we’ll take a look at the current trend in “re-branding” incineration as a viable option to deal with the mountains of garbage generated by our society. Incineration can produce energy for electricity, but can the costs—both economically, and ecologically—justify the benefits? What are the alternatives?

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