The Basics About Fracking

North Carolina’s Shale Deposits

The Deep River and Dan River shale basins spread underneath 14 counties in North Carolina. These shale basins contain natural gas that until recently was too expensive to extract.
 
Fracking has made it easier to get to shale deposits that were once thought to be out of reach.
 
During the process, millions of gallons of water are used to “frack” each well.  The migration of fracking chemicals and gas into groundwater  could lead to irreversible water contamination. 
 
North Carolina should be promoting clean renewable energy, not hydraulic fracturing.
 
On average 3 to 5 million gallons of freshwater are used to “frack” each well. A well can be fracked multiple times. If too much water is removed too quickly, drought-sensitive areas could face water shortages.
 
Fracking produces a large amount of wastewater that is contaminated with toxic chemicals, including corrosive salts, benzenes, and radium. Most waste water treatment facilities cannot safely process this water. As a result, toxic chemicals return to water supplies. 
 
According to the State Water Supply Plan, 24% of North Carolinians depend on the Cape Fear River Basin for their water. This area could be the site of thousands of gas drilling operations.
 
 
A 2005 federal loophole exempts fracking operations from environmental regulations including the Clean Water, Clean Air and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
 
The Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources held three public hearings this spring.  Over 1,500 people attended the hearings and the clear majority of those who spoke either opposed lifting the ban on fracking or encouraged lawmakers to ‘go slow.’