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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New study: Arsenic in groundwater at fracking sites

A growing body of research continues to cast a pall on fracking. A recent study by the University of Texas at Arlington found excessive levels of arsenic in the groundwater near such sites within the state, causing concerns about the long-term ramifications of the practice.

Supporters of fracking allege it has greatly expanded production of energy-providing resources, adding much to the economy and overall quality of life. Opponents assert that the poisoning of groundwater has both immediate and long-ranging consequences, well beyond the location of the practice; 20% of all fresh water on the planet exists as groundwater.

While the current study is considered inconclusive at best, anti-fracking forces are combining it with other studies to request a halt on the practice, at least until more research can be conducted. Fracking is a slang term for hydraulic fracturing, a procedure of injecting high-pressure fluids into the cracks of rock formations at drilling sites, widening said-cracks. This allows oil and natural gas to flow more freely, which in turn makes such sites more profitable.

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