David M. Streifford: Fracking fears

January 23, 2014 

The Jan. 20 “Unfounded fear” letter read like a public relations piece for the hydraulic fracturing industry. The writer trivialized spillages of fracking fluid and then had some fun by proposing a ban on tanker trucks crossing Falls Lake and U.S. 64.

The far more serious concern is that the drilling will occur in locations (Chatham, Lee and Moore counties) where the aquifer is unusually close to the shale formation. The drilling rig and well will actually penetrate the aquifer. This is problematic because 5 percent of well casings leak immediately and nearly all well casings leak within six months. So, noxious chemicals used by Range Resources, Chesapeake and other drillers will contaminate the water supply and neighboring farm land, thus entering the food chain.

The writer would have us believe that frackers use relatively harmless chemicals. In fact, highly carcinogenic chemicals are used uniformly, and this usage has been documented in spills and flowback of fracking fluids in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Texas and Colorado, to name just a few. The writer further trivialized the spillage or contamination issues by misrepresenting the volume of water involved. Millions of gallons of fracking fluid are used in every well. This practice poses much to fear!

David M. Streifford, Cary

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