WASHINGTON â€” Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats.
The chemicals were used by companies during a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, which involves the high-pressure injection of a mixture of water, sand and chemical additives into rock formations deep underground. The process, which is being used to tap into large reserves of natural gas around the country, opens fissures in the rock to stimulate the release of oil and gas.
Hydrofracking has attracted increased scrutiny from lawmakers and environmentalists in part because of fears that the chemicals used during the process can contaminate underground sources of drinking water.
Read the rest of the article – >Â NYT
I came across this article while reading i09 detailing in photos one of the most polluted sites on the earth, a town in Russia called Karabash (also the name of a breed of dog).
I’m not posting this to depress you, which I’m sure I will accomplish by posting this, but more because it reminds me of all those Star Trek episodes where they land on a planet and fruitlessly scan for signs of life. “This planet is almost completely dead, Captain.”
In 1910, the Karabashmed copper smelter opened at the foot of the Ural Mountains. By 1916, it was producing one third of Russia’s copper. Unfortunately for the 15,700 residents of Karabash, copper smelting has gradually destroyed the land and air. The plant has long pumped derivatives from lead, sulfur, arsenic, and copper into the air, with no clean-up processes attempted. Not only is the air toxic â€” eye-stinging and hard to breathe â€” it also brings down acid rain, destroying the soil and thinning the once-dense forest with lifeless bald patches. (Source)
For the whole story and a gallery of pictures, check out the article (which is also the source of all quoted text and pics).