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Hydraulic Fracturing (Hydrofracking): Overview

A legal resource guide for information relating to hydrofracking including primary and secondary source materials, quick links, and database resources.

Hydraulic Fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process of removing shale oil and natural gas from shale rock formations underground through the use of drills and the injection of a high-powered liquid solution. The process is used to harvest deposits that previously could not be exploited. The exact method of drilling and extraction varies depending on the shale deposit at issue, although all methods include drilling and injection.  The process was first used in the late 1940s. Fracking is a controversial process. Although fracking would allow the United States to tap into a wealth of previously unexploited oil and natural gas, the chemicals used in the process have resulted in the contamination of the water table in areas where fracking has taken place.

For a complete explanation of the process you can visit the EPA's page.

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Environmental Law Librarian

Deborah L. Heller's picture
Deborah L. Heller
Contact:
Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University
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