While fracking safety in Pennsylvania has improved drastically since 2008, anti-fracking groups still claim Pennsylvania fracking is poorly regulated. Environmental violations have dropped by more than half over the years, proving that Pennsylvania drilling companies are getting their act together.
The majority of Pennsylvania fracking errors have been reported as, “operator error, negligence, or a failure to follow proper procedures when drilling.” The report also suggests that the “industry has room for improvement, and the frequency of environmental events can be reduced.”
The report based on comprehensive data and contradicts claims by anti-fracking groups. Shale gas extraction safety continues to improve drastically and environmental dangers are continuing to decrease.
“This study presents a compelling case that state oversight of oil and gas regulation has been effective,” said University of Wyoming economics professor Timothy Considine, who was the lead author. “Regulatory learning and technological progress has been considerable over the past four years.”
“While prior research has anecdotally reviewed state regulations, now we have comprehensive data that demonstrates, without ambiguity, that state regulation coupled with improvements in industry practices results in a low risk of an environmental event occurring in shale development, and the risks continue to diminish year after year,” Considine added.
Traditional methods of hydraulic fracturing is a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals (less than 1%), which is later shot into the ground to extract natural from shale rock formations. The high-volume fracking is a hot issue in New York, which currently hold a moratorium on fracking. Fracking incidences could have been avoided or lessened under New York’s proposed regulatory framework, according to John Martin, the co-author of the report and director of the newly founded shale gas institute.
“New York’s current regulations would prevent or mitigate each of the identified major environmental events that occurred in Pennsylvania,” Martin said. “It’s important that states continue to learn from the regulatory experience—both strengths and weaknesses—of others.”