As the U.S. shale market comes under increasing scrutiny for its environmental and health impact, it has emerged that the United States has actually approved fracking overseas causing billions of gallons of wastewater to be disposed at sea.
The Center for Biological Diversity has released federal documents that reveal that authorities approved more than 1,200 offshore fracks in 630 various wells in the four years from 2010 to 2014 in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Gulf of Mexico has already been experiencing years of traditional oil and gas drilling along with the aftermath of the terrible Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2010, when millions of gallons of oil were spilt.
The recently launched documents expose that fracking occurred off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama without any public involvement and without any site-specific tests carried out beforehand.
In so doing, the market was also permitted to discard a shocking 76 billion gallons of waste fluid into the sea in 2014 alone.
There is real reason to be worried by this disposing. Over the last 18 months there has been growing issue about fracking chemicals present within fracking wastewater.
Just over a year earlier, the UK-based CHEM Trust issued a report and briefing paper on how harmful chemicals from fracking could affect animals and people alike.
The report recognized particular examples of harmful products utilized in fracking, including chemicals "related to leukemia in people" and "harmful to sperm production in males."
The trust warned it is "especially worried about the use of hormone-disrupting chemicals" frequently called endocrine interrupting chemicals (EDCs).
Then last October a new research study found that fracking chemicals are related to a decreased sperm count in their adult years. Finally, in April this year, a new clinical research study discovered high levels of 16 endocrine disruptors in samples taken near a fracking site.
And now it appears fracking wastewater has actually been dumped at sea without anyone's understanding or oversight. "Fracking has actually mainly been in a shroud of secrecy," Miyoko Sakashita, the oceans director at Center for Biological Variety, said, before including "It is an unsafe activity that has no location in our oceans or the Gulf of Mexico."
According to Sakashita, the U.S. Epa, (EPA) "didn't actually know exactly what chemicals-- and still does not know exactly what chemicals-- are being discharged into the Gulf of Mexico," which is a damning decision on the U.S. regulator. "When I initially called EPA ... they basically responded to me that they do not track [wastewater dumping] and they don't know," Sakashita stated.
" The Obama administration is essentially letting oil companies frack at will in Gulf ecosystems and dump billions of gallons of oil waste into seaside waters," adds Kristen Monsell, a Center for Biological Diversity lawyer. "Every offshore frack increases the risk to wild animals and coastal communities, yet federal authorities have been simply rubber-stamping this hazardous practice in the Gulf of Mexico for several years."
The legal representative included that the U.S. government "hasn't actually studied it in the past, they have not studied the impact of the chemicals that these business are enabled to dispose straight into the ocean including important habitat and fracking-endangered species."
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