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Fracking’s Hazards and Environmental Impacts: An Appeal for Regulation and Alternatives


Researchers and consumers are exploring and using fossil resources like natural gas to address rising global energy demands. Fracking hydraulics is a controversial process for extracting natural gas from deep below. Fracking advocates claim it can meet short-term energy needs, but a closer look shows considerable environmental problems. (Wansley)This article raises awareness of fracking’s hazards and promotes strict controls and other energy sources. Fracking may pollute air and water, cause earthquakes, and discharge harmful chemicals. Fracking fluids and pollutants have been found in subsurface water sources, endangering drinking water. Methane, a strong greenhouse gas, is also released during extraction. Fracking-induced seismic occurrences raise worries about surrounding geological formations and earthquakes. (Aczel, 2022)Fracking must be regulated to reduce these hazards. This includes water quality monitoring, well integrity checks, and wastewater and hazardous chemical control. Scientific experts should help governments and regulators set and implement strong safety standards safeguarding the environment and human health.

Fracking involves large volumes of fresh water and chemicals sprayed at high pressure into rock formations to liberate trapped resources. This procedure pollutes water. Known as flow back water, it typically carries harmful contaminants, including heavy metals and radioactive elements, from the subsoil. Fracking industry negligence and mismanagement have poisoned water supplies. (Hammer, 2022)Methane leaks into water wells near fracking facilities, making tap water flammable. Wastewater spills and leaks from improper storage and disposal increase contamination hazards. No substantial research has examined the long-term impacts of fracking-contaminated water. Human health and ecosystems are at risk. The 700-plus compounds in fracking fluid are dangerous and carcinogenic. Companies typically refuse to divulge their compounds, citing property rights or trade secrets. Lack of chemical clarity hinders risk assessment and mitigation. Regulators, scientists, and communities need help to grasp fracking’s potential consequences. It also hinders the creation of water and public health protections. (Burton Jr, Hydraulic “fracking”: Are surface water impacts an ecological concern?., 2018) Due to the global size of fracking operations and rising energy demand, environmental concerns and pollution must be addressed. Water supplies, ecosystems, and human health need better control, transparency, and monitoring. Exploring and investing in cleaner energy sources can lessen our dependency on fracking and create a more sustainable future.

Due to its greenhouse gas emissions and climate change effects, fracking has raised environmental concerns. Fracking releases methane, a greenhouse gas. Over 100 years, methane warms the planet 25 times more than carbon dioxide. Methane can escape into the atmosphere via good leaks, equipment faults, and purposeful venting during fracking. Although natural gas, acquired mainly by fracking, burns cleaner than coal when utilized for energy production, fracking has a significant climatic impact. (Burton Jr, 2020)The extraction process uses much energy, mostly from heavy machinery, transportation, and hydraulic fracturing fluids. Energy usage increases carbon dioxide emissions, worsening climate change. The frequent digging of fracking holes and methane emissions are other issues. New wells must be dug to maintain output since drill holes run out quickly. Constant drilling uses much energy and generates greenhouse emissions. The extraction procedure also loses 3% of the recovered gas. Fugitive emissions arise when pipes, valves, and other equipment leak. These fugitive emissions increase fracking’s greenhouse gas impact. Methane emissions, energy consumption, frequent drilling, and fugitive emissions show that fracking harms the climate. (Meng, 2017)Natural gas has been touted as a greener alternative to coal, but fracking’s net greenhouse gas emissions cast doubt on its long-term viability. Improve healthy integrity, reduce fugitive emissions, and switch to renewable energy to reduce fracking’s climatic effect and create a more sustainable future.

Fracking for shale gas can pollute water and air and cause earthquakes. These dangers require extensive control and monitoring to guarantee acceptable behavior and reduce risks. To protect public health, fracking chemicals should be well closed, good construction done, and wastewater management must be regulated. (Staddon, 2020)Regular inspections and enforcement should provide adequate monitoring. Air and water quality should be monitored with continuous emission monitoring and baseline data. Consider both current and long-term threats. Fracking’s complete environmental impact should be studied. (Carothers, 2019)These studies should examine the long-term consequences of polluted water, air, and seismic activity on ecosystems, human health, and the environment. Policymakers may make informed judgments and implement effective mitigation plans by knowing the long-term effects. Ignoring the long-term effects of fracking might harm future generations. Strict regulations must preserve public health and natural resources. (Ingold, 2017)By doing so, we can balance energy production and environmental sustainability, ensuring that fracking’s potential advantages do not come at the price of irreparable environmental and human harm.


In conclusion, fracking may offer short-term energy answers but has profound environmental and safety dangers. Water pollution is a significant hazard to human health and ecosystems—fracking releases greenhouse gases, which worsens global warming. Fracking must be regulated to solve these problems. These regulations should reduce water pollution, wastewater management, and greenhouse gas emissions. Holding fracking businesses responsible and implementing strict regulations can reduce immediate damage and preserve communities and ecosystems. However, long-term investment in alternative energy research is essential. Solar, wind, hydropower, battery storage, and grid integration provide environmentally friendly energy alternatives. (Freilich, 2017)We can create a more sustainable and resilient energy system by prioritizing cleaner and safer choices. As planet stewards, we must prioritize the long-term health of our communities and ecosystems. We can build a better future for ourselves and future generations by acknowledging the risks and environmental impacts of fracking and aggressively seeking greener alternatives.


Aczel, M., Heap, R., Workman, M., Hall, S., Armstrong, H., & Makuch, K. (2022). Anticipatory Regulation: Lessons from Fracking and Insights for Greenhouse Gas Removal Innovation and Governance. Energy Research & Social Science, p. 90, 102683.

Burton Jr, G. A., Basu, N., Ellis, B. R., Kapo, K. E., Entrekin, S., & Nadelhoffer, K. (2018). Hydraulic “fracking”: Are surface water impacts an ecological concern? Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry33(8), 1679-1689.

Burton Jr, G. A., Basu, N., Ellis, B. R., Kapo, K. E., Entrekin, S., & Nadelhoffer, K. (2020). Hydraulic “fracking”: Are surface water impacts an ecological concern? Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry33(8), 1679-1689.

Carothers, L. (2019). Options for Regulating the Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing. Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis, p. 45, 10752.

Freilich, R. H., & Popowitz, N. M. (2017). Oil and Gas Fracking: State and Federal Regulation Does Not Preempt Needed Local Government Regulation. Urb. Law.44, 533.

Hammer, R., VanBriesen, J., & Levine, L. (2022). In fracking’s wake: new rules are needed to protect our health and environment from contaminated wastewater. Natural Resources Defense Council11.

Ingold, K., Fischer, M., & Cairney, P. (2017). Drivers for policy agreement in nascent subsystems: an application of the advocacy coalition framework to fracking policy in Switzerland and the UK. Policy studies journal45(3), 442–463.

Meng, Q., & Ashby, S. (2017). Distance: A critical aspect of environmental impact assessment of hydraulic fracking. The Extractive Industries and Society1(2), 124–126.

Staddon, P. L., & Depledge, M. H. (2020). Fracking cannot be reconciled with climate change mitigation policies.

Wansley, M. T. (2020). Regulation of Emerging Risks. Vand. L. Rev., pp. 69, 401.


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