Fracking

The State of Things
12:28 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Fracking In Western North Carolina?

Worker oversees the process of mixing water with fracking fluids to be injected into the ground in Bakken, North Dakota.
Credit Joshua Doubek, via Wikipedia

 

Jon Elliston, investigations and open government editor for Carolina Public Press; and John Murawski, reporter for the News and Observer talk about fracking in Western North Carolina

  Experts have been looking at the piedmont and coastal plain as a potential fracking zone. 

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Environment
10:05 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Duke Study Finds Contamination At PA Fracking Site

A rig and gas well operation at the Marcellus Shale in PA
Credit wcn 247 / Flickr

Groundwater and sediment from a natural gas fracking treatment site in Pennsylvania is contaminated with chemicals and radioactivity.

That's the finding of a new study at Duke University. Researchers examined the quality of shale gas wastewater from hydraulic fracturing in the stream water above and below a disposal site about an hour east of Pittsburgh. 

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Environment
5:14 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

DENR Refuses Federal Water Quality Grants

Credit Environmental Protection Agency

North Carolina environmental officials have said "no" to a federal grant to check water quality in areas where fracking may occur.  The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources says the money from the EPA would only pay for salaries of people brought in to do testing. 

Division of Water Resources director Tom Reeder says DENR doesn't need them.

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Environment
4:20 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Croatan Earth First! Protests Fracking In Western NC

One of two wooden tripods built by protesters in front of an entrance to a chemical plant in Morganton, NC. A person was perched at the top of the contraption for several hours, preventing vehicles from entering or leaving the plant.
Credit Croatan Earth First

Members of an environmental group protested Monday morning at the site of a chemical plant in Morgantown about 80 miles northwest of Charlotte. Members of the group Croatan Earth First! demonstrated at the Momentive plant. The company makes chemicals, one of which is used in hydraulic fracturing, the controversial process of extracting natural gas from underground rock.

Protestors set up two large tripods in front of the main entrances in an effort to shut down the plant for the day.

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Environment
6:00 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Duke Study Finds Additional Gases In Groundwater Near Pennsylvania Fracking Sites

A facking site in the Marcellus Shale.
Credit wcn 247 / Flickr

New samples of drinking water near hydraulic fracturing sites in Pennsylvania show more evidence of natural gas contamination. 

A report released today from Duke University says researchers found ethane and propane in addition to methane in water near fracking sites in the Marcellus shale basin.  The same team of scientists first found elevated levels of methane in Pennsylvania drinking water in 2011.

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Environment
1:31 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Duke Study Shows No Contamination Near Fracking Wells In Arkansas

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

New tests near hydraulic fracturing sites in Arkansas show no evidence of methane leaking into groundwater supplies. A study released Wednesday from Duke University found no negative effects on drinking water near fracking operations. 

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The State of Things
1:10 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

What Is The Future Of Fracking In North Carolina?

A drill rig on a fracking site.
Credit EPA

A panel of guests discusses fracking in North Carolina with host Frank Stasio.

The natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has been a source of debate and contention in the state for quite some time now. It involves drilling horizontally through thousands of feet of shale and blasting the shale with water, sand and chemicals to release natural gas. Several states allow the process, some are in the process of figuring out how to regulate it, and some, like New York, have placed a moratorium on the process due to environmental concerns.

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Fracking North Carolina
5:00 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Fracking North Carolina: Could Neighbors Be Forced To Frack?

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

Some landowners are worried they could be forced to allow fracking of their land even if they don’t want it. Richard Ziglar reports for the final part of our ‘Fracking North Carolina’ series.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a relatively new technology. It involves drilling horizontally through thousands of feet of shale and blasting the shale with water, sand and chemicals to release natural gas. The state’s Mining and Energy Commission is coming up with new regulations for the gas industry, and revisiting some old ones. Among the most contentious regulations are those for what’s called forced or compulsory pooling.

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Fracking North Carolina
5:00 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Fracking North Carolina: What Do We Do With The Waste?

Ed Harris on his farm in Lee County.
Credit Richard Ziglar

The price of natural gas has fallen to all time lows and is replacing dirtier fuels like coal.  So why are environmentalists so concerned about drilling for natural gas here in North Carolina?  The process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used to release the gas from the surrounding shale rock brings with it its own environmental problems including massive amounts of wastewater. This is the second story in our “Fracking North Carolina” series.

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Fracking North Carolina
7:33 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Fracking North Carolina: Why Now?

Butler #3 natural gas well in Lee County.
Credit Ray Covington

In the first story in our Fracking North Carolina series, Richard Ziglar looks at why some people in North Carolina want to drill for gas now, and what it may mean for the state.

North Carolina has never been a player in natural gas production, but that could change thanks to a new extraction process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Fracking involves cracking shale rock to release natural gas so that it can be pumped out of the ground. This story is the first in a special “Fracking North Carolina” series. 

There’s a North Carolina sound that only a few dozen people have ever heard: gas escaping from a well in Lee County.

Standing in front of a well called Butler #3, you can see that it’s a shut-in well, which means it’s been capped with something called a “Christmas tree.” The Christmas tree is only about five feet tall; it’s painted green and it has three shut-off valves coming out of it. It’s set up this way so people can come back and attach pipes to it, but it has been shut off since the 1990s.

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