Fracking for Plastic

July 27, 2018 • EARTHWORKS
Oil and gas wells produce the chemicals needed to produce 99% of plastics. Nearly all U.S. shale wells are fracked, and in addition to oil and gas, they generally produce a very high volume of natural gas liquids, or NGLs,… More »

Waste Management Infrastructure

December 11, 2017 • EARTHWORKS
When wells are drilled and fracked, it’s not only oil and gas that are brought to the surface from deep underground—but also large volumes of waste. Estimates show that up to 1,200 gallons of wastewater can be created per day… More »

Waste pits and impoundments

December 11, 2017 • EARTHWORKS
Both liquid and solid wastes are stored at well sites in reserve or storage pits. Liquid wastes (as well as freshwater reserves for fracturing) may also be stored in giant impoundments that can hold millions of gallons. An investigation in… More »

Wastewater Treatment Plants

December 11, 2017 • EARTHWORKS
Until the US Environmental Protection Agency adopted a new rule in 2016, the oil and gas industry was allowed to dispose of wastewater at municipal wastewater treatment plants. But because municipal plants aren’t capable of handling toxic and radioactive substances, wastewater can… More »

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Underground Wastewater Injection Wells

December 11, 2017 • EARTHWORKS
Large volumes of oil and gas wastewater are ultimately disposed of in underground injection wells (UICs) through a federal program mandated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Most of the estimated 180,000 UIC wells nationwide that are designated for oil… More »

Surface spreading of drilling wastes

December 11, 2017 • EARTHWORKS
Many states allow “brine” (produced water) from conventional drilling operations to be spread on roads as a de-icer and dust suppressant. Brine can contain high levels of salt, chloride, and chemicals, which can pose risks to wildlife, vegetation, and drinking water. Some… More »

Toxics Release Inventory – What is it?

December 11, 2017 • EARTHWORKS
A tool for citizens to help protect themselves The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory (or TRI) gives citizens information about toxic releases in and around their communities. With this information citizens can encourage mining companies to reduce their… More »

Surface Owner Protection Legislation

December 11, 2017 • EARTHWORKS
EQUALIZING THE IMBALANCE BETWEEN MINERAL AND SURFACE OWNERS: The Case for Surface Owner Protection Legislation At least 10 states have already enacted surface owner protection or damage compensation laws, and still have thriving oil and gas programs. Surface damages legislation… More »