Up to 16 percent of hydraulically fractured wells accidentally discharge toxic fracking fluid, polluted water and hydrocarbons according to The Engineer:
“The analysis, published in Environmental Science & Technology, is said to have identified 6,648 spills recorded across Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania over a 10-year period.
“The results of the study are said to exceed the 457 spills calculated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for eight states between 2006 and 2012 because the EPA’s analysis concentrated on the hydraulic fracturing stage, rather than the full life cycle of unconventional oil and gas production.”
The exact nature and size of the spills is unclear because of the lack of transparency in the US fracking industry and because different states operate to different reporting standards. In the UK and Europe, where regulation and reporting rules are expected to be stricter, spillage may be less of an issue. However, given the number of wells that have to be drilled in close proximity to one another in order for fracking to be profitable, even if the UK’s fracking industry experienced 50 percent of the leakage seen in the US, that would still leave us with toxic waste spilling from 8 in every 100 (of up to 20,000) wells – not something to inspire confidence in the communities that will have to live next door.