Fracking in California and Causes of Water Contamination

“Fracking” is a process used in the exploration of natural gas where water and chemicals are hydraulically pumped into rocks deep beneath the ground surface. Claims have been made that water supplies can become contaminated by fracking, and water can even become flammable, as natural gas and toxic chemicals are released from the shale rock underground. In 2005, the Bush Administration’s Energy Bill exempted companies from disclosing the chemicals they use in the “fracking” process, and exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Water Drinking Act, which was established in 1974. In 2009, the FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness to Chemical Act) was introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives in an attempt to require companies to disclose the chemicals used in fracking. The FRAC Act essentially repealed the exemption from restrictions on hydraulic fracking of fluids near drinking water sources previously granted to oil and gas exploration, and required oil and gas companies to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations. While this is a start in environmental protection of clean water, it did not address the people and communities whose water supply may have become contaminated by this process.

If you or someone close to you has been affected by contaminated drinking water and you are located near oil wells or natural gas well in California, please contact the oil & gas attorneys at Brod Law Firm for a free consultation.