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.

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?

Recommendations for an EIR to prioritize Kern County Frontline Communities

Kern County Environmental Impact Report As we have discussed in previous reports, Kern County is required to develop a new set of environmental impact report (EIR) requirements for permitting new oil and gas wells. With this recent development, it is necessary to provide science-based recommendations for the EIR to prioritize the protection of the health […]

Testimony to PA DEP on Control of Methane & VOC Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Sources

This testimony was provided by Shannon Smith, FracTracker Manager of Communications & Development, at the July 23rd hearing on the control of methane & VOC emissions from oil and natural gas sources hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). My name is Shannon Smith and I’m a resident of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. I am […]

COVID-19 and the oil & gas industry

COVID-19 and the oil and gas industry are at odds. Air pollution created by oil and gas activities make people more vulnerable to viruses like COVID-19. Simultaneously, the economic impact of the pandemic is posing major challenges to oil and gas companies that were already struggling to meet their bottom line. In responding to these […]

Compressor station within Loyalsock State Forest, PA.

Air Pollution from Pennsylvania Shale Gas Compressor Stations – REPORT

Air pollution from Pennsylvania shale gas compressor stations is a significant, worsening public health concern. By Cynthia Walter, Ph.D. Dr. Walter is a retired biology professor who has worked on shale gas industry pollution since 2009 through Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens Group, Protect PT and other groups. Contact: walter.atherton@gmail.com Executive Summary Compressor Stations (CS) in the […]

Support this work

Stay in the know