Health and Safety Risks of Unconventional Oil and Gas

The FracTracker articles and maps below explore the ways that unconventional oil & gas development impact public health and safety, including air pollution, water contamination, pipeline incidents such as explosions, fracking-induced earthquakes, and more. We analyze many of these issues through an Environmental Justice lens, considering that marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted by health issues caused by oil and gas activities.

FracTracker Articles

Carbon Capture and Storage: Industry Connections and Community Impacts

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Industries that stand to capitalize on the proliferation of carbon capture and storage are aggressively pursuing its development despite its wide-ranging risks and diminishing returns for communities across the U.S.

Pipeline Right-of-Ways: Making the Connection between Forest Fragmentation and the Spread of Lyme Disease in Southwestern Pennsylvania

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While many ecological factors may contribute to the spread of Lyme disease, two of the most significant factors are believed to be climate change and forest fragmentation. This study assesses the role that different pipeline construction proxies play in the change in average annual Lyme disease rate in Pennsylvania counties from 2001 to 2019.

FracTracker Finds Widespread Hydrocarbon Emissions from Active & Idle Oil and Gas Wells and Infrastructure in California

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FracTracker inspections of oil and gas infrastructure using an optical gas imaging camera found numerous sources of uncontrolled emissions in three California counties.

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

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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.

New Film Tells Story of Community’s Fight Against Fracking Waste

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"Hellbent," a new documentary slated for release in August 2022, tells the story of a small town in Pennsylvania and a species on the brink of extinction that are unlikely allies in the fight for a clean, livable environment.
Brine spreading map

Oil and Gas Brine in Ohio

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A hazardous byproduct of oil & gas operations, called “brine," poses a problem because of its radioactivity and the volumes produced.
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