Modern Natural Gas Development and Harm to Health: The Need for Proactive Public Health Policies
ISRN Public Health
17 May 2013
Madelon L. Finkel PhD, Jake Hays MA, and Adam Law MD
The Shale Gas Boom and the Need for Rational Policy
American Journal of Public Health
16 May 2013
Madelon Finkel PhD, Jake Hays MA, and Adam Law MD
A commentary calling for precautionary policy measures in the absence of methodologically sound data on potential harms to the environment and human health from shale gas development.
Potentially induced earthquakes in Oklahoma, USA: Links between wastewater injection and the 2011 Mw 5.7 earthquake sequence
Keranen KM, Savage HM, Abers GA, Cochran ES
Significant earthquakes are increasingly occurring within the continental interior of the United States, including five of moment magnitude (Mw) 5.0 in 2011 alone. Concurrently, the volume of fluid injected into the subsurface related to the production of unconventional resources continues to rise. Here we identify the largest earthquake potentially related to injection, an Mw 5.7 earthquake in November 2011 in Oklahoma.
Marcellus Shale Drilling's Impact on the Dairy Industry in Pennsylvania: A Descriptive Report
Madelon L. Finkel, Jane Selegean, Jake Hays, Nitin Kondamudi
Estimation of regional air-quality damages from Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania
Environmental Research Letters
31 January 2013
Aviva Litovitz, Aimee Curtright, Shmuel Abramzon, Nicholas Burger and Constantine Samaras
This study gives an estimate of the conventional air pollutant emissions (VOC, NOx PM2.5, PM10 and SOx) from shale gas development in Pennsylvania and the monetary value of the associated environmental and health damages. Region-wide damages were estimated between $7.2 to $32 million dollars for 2011. While emissions and damage estimates are relatively small compared to other major sources of air pollution in the state overall, they are a concern in regions of significant extraction activities, which tend to be concentrated in a few counties. In counties with concentrated activity NOx emissions from the shale gas industry were 20-40 times higher than allowable for a single minor source. The authors also note that the industry and regulatory agencies need to account for air emissions from ongoing, long-term activities and not only those associated with development since more than 80% of damages occur in the years after the well is developed. For instance, compressor station activities alone account for 60-75% of all extraction-associated damages. It is important to consider county-level damage given site-specific variability such as the concentration of shale gas activities, population, and areas where air quality is already a concern. The authors conclude that shale gas extraction will be associated with non-trivial air pollution emissions and that more detailed analyses (e.g. regional data acquisition and consideration of site-specific variabilit
Hydraulic Fracturing and Brook Trout Habitat in the Marcellus Shale Region: Potential Impacts and Research Needs
Weltman-Fahs M & JM Taylor
The expansion of hydraulic fracturing poses multiple threats to surface waters, which can be tied to key ecological attributes that limit brook trout populations. Here, we expand current conceptual models to identify three potential
pathways of risk between surface water threats associated with increased natural gas development and life history attributes of brook trout: hydrological, physical, and chemical.
Analysis of BTEX groundwater concentration from surface spills associated with hydraulic fracturing operations
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association
14 Jan 2013
Gross SA, Avens HJ , Banducci AM, Sahmel J, Panko JM, Tvermoes BE
Concerns have arisen among the public regarding the potential for drinking water contamination from the migration of methane gas and hazardous chemicals associated with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. However, little attention has been paid to the potential for groundwater contamination resulting from surface spills from storage and production facilities at active well sites
Oil depletion and the energy efficiency of oil production: the case of California
12 Oct 2011
This study explores the impact of oil depletion on the energetic efficiency of oil.
extraction and refining in California.
Geochemical evidence for possible natural migration of Marcellus Formation brine to shallow aquifers in Pennsylvania
Nathaniel R. Warner, Robert B. Jackson, Thomas H. Darrah, Stephen G. Osborn, Adrian Down, Kaiguang Zhao, Alissa White, and Avner Vengosh
This study examines hydraulic connectivity between shale gas formations and the overlying shallow drinking water aquifers.
Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies
National Research Council
15 Jun 2012
National Research Council
In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public attention. Although only a very small fraction of injection and extraction activities among the hundreds of thousands of energy development sites in the United States have induced seismicity at levels noticeable to the public, understanding the potential for inducing felt seismic events and for limiting their occurrence and impacts is desirable for state and federal agencies, industry, and the public at large. To better understand, limit, and respond to induced seismic events, work is needed to build robust prediction models, to assess potential hazards, and to help relevant agencies coordinate to address them.