Released Today: Duke Report On Shale Gas Extraction in North Carolina

Duke University’s report, Considering Shale Gas Extraction in North Carolina: Lessons from Other States, was released today.  According to the press release, this report (pdf)  “offers several health and environmental measures for North Carolina lawmakers to consider as they debate legalizing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. ”

The researchers cite seven measures that policymakers should consider “to help avoid and mitigate any possible negative effects.

These include:

  • Securing baseline data on groundwater prior to shale gas production and at each stage of the drilling process;
  • Funding for regulatory programs and an agency to carry them out;
  • Planning for withdrawals from area water supplies related to the production;
  • Minimizing the risks of spills and contamination caused by equipment failure and human error by implementing safety requirements;
  • Thinking through options for the disposal and treatment of wastewater resulting from the hydraulic fracturing process;
  • Assessing the impacts on air quality and assure attainment of federal ground-level ozone standards; and
  • Requiring some degree of disclosure regarding the chemicals used in fracturing fluid.”
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