First risk assessment of shale gas fracking to biodiversity

Jun 17, 2013

Fracking, the controversial method of mining shale gas, is widespread across Pennsylvania, covering up to 280,000 km² of the Appalachian Basin. New research in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences explores the threat posed to biodiversity including pollution from toxic chemicals, the building of well pads and pipelines, and changes to wetlands.

" has engendered a great deal of controversy, largely because of its impact on human health, but effects on and resources have scarcely been addressed in the public debate," said study author Erik Kiviat.

"This study indicated a wide range of potential impacts, some of which could be severe, including salinization of soils and surface waters and fragmentation of forests. The degree of industrialization of shale gas landscapes, and the 285,000 km² extent of the Marcellus and Utica shale gas region alone, should require great caution regarding impacts on biodiversity."

Explore further: Obama readies climate change push at UN summit

More information: Erik Kiviat, 'Risks to biodiversity from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shales', Annals of the New York Academy of Science, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/nyas.12146

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d_robison
not rated yet Jun 17, 2013
Amazing writing...article consists of two quotes and a link to the actual paper. Journalism at its finest.