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.

A Hazy Future Report Cover

A Hazy Future: Pennsylvania’s Energy Landscape in 2045

Report Calculates Impacts from PA’s Planned Natural Gas Infrastructure FracTracker Alliance released the report: A Hazy Future: Pennsylvania’s Energy Landscape in 2045 today, which details the potential future impacts of a massive buildout of Marcellus Shale wells and associated natural gas infrastructure. Industry analysts forecast 47,600 new unconventional oil and gas wells may be drilled in […]

Right to a healthy home - Photo credit: Leann Leiter

The Right to a Healthy Home

Reframing Fracking in Our Communities Imagine that tonight you head home to cook dinner. But, standing at your kitchen sink, you find that your tap water is suddenly running a funny color or gives off a bad smell. So instead of cooking, you order a pizza and decide to work outside in your garden. Just […]

Photo courtesy of Claycord.com

Tracking Refinery Emissions in California’s Bay Area Refinery Corridor

Air quality in the California Bay Area has been steadily improving over the last decade, and the trend can even be seen over just the course of the last few years. In this article we explore data from the ambient air quality monitoring networks in the Bay Area, including a look at refinery emissions. From […]

Shell Ethane Cracker

A Formula for Disaster: Calculating Risk at the Ethane Cracker

by Leann Leiter, Environmental Health Fellow map & analysis by Kirk Jalbert, Manager of Community-Based Research & Engagement in partnership with the Environmental Integrity Project On January 18, 2016, Potter Township Supervisors approved conditional use permits for Shell Chemical Appalachia’s proposed ethane cracker facility in Beaver County, PA. A type of petrochemical facility, an ethane cracker […]

Oil and gas production on public lands

Interactive maps show nearness of oil and gas wells to communities in 5 states

As an American, you are part owner of 640 million acres of our nation’s shared public lands managed by the federal government. And chances are, you’ve enjoyed a few of these lands on family picnics, weekend hikes or summer camping trips. But did you know that some of your lands may also be leading to toxic air […]

Air emissions from drilling rig

A Review of Oil and Gas Emissions Data in Pennsylvania

By Wendy Fan, 2016 Intern, FracTracker Alliance From 2011-2013, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) required air emission data to be conducted and reported by oil and gas drillers in Pennsylvania. We have tried to look at this data in aggregate to give you a sense of the types and quantities of different pollutants. […]

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