Dartmouth Study: Fracking Causes Toxic Metal Wastewater

We call attention to a newly published study from three researchers at Dartmouth College. The new research paper, recently published in the journal Applied Geochemistry, is titled, “Reductive weathering of black shale and release of barium during hydraulic fracturing” (sorry, we don’t have a full copy to share with you). In reading over the Dartmouth press release, it appears the researchers have found evidence that plain water itself, water without extra chemicals added to it, will, under pressure a mile or more down, facilitate or somehow combine with shale and cause barium to leach out of the shale. The research is based on samples from three drill cores from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and New York. Our understanding of just what they are saying is far from perfect. It seems to us the importance of what they claim to have found is that produced water, which is water that comes from the borehole long after the initial frack flowback water has returned to the surface, contains a lot of barium (and some mild radioactivity) and that produced water must be disposed of safely. You can’t just cart produced water to the local sewage treatment plant and drop it off. That seems to be what they’re saying with this research. You read the description for yourself and tell us what you think it says…

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