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.

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?

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 […]

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 […]

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