Policy Statement on Hydraulic Fracturing


Although the practice of fracturing rock to release trapped gases is at least five decades old, the technique consisting of horizontal drilling is relatively new, having been developed in the 1990s. High volume fracturing has only been utilized in the last ten years. In high volume fracturing, millions of gallons of water (typically between two and nine million) infused with sand and chemicals are injected into each well to create fissures, releasing the gas which flows out of the well and into pipelines for distribution. About 60% of the injected water flows back from the well as waste. The wastewater must be transported to a disposal site, often an existing sewage treatment plant.

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