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Fracking in Michigan: U-M researchers study potential impact on health, environment, economy

s engaged in the project is Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, an environmental nonprofit organization in northern Michigan near the Antrim Shale Formation, which stretches through six counties across the top of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, from Lake Michigan on the west to Lake Huron on the east.

"What concerns us is the application of horizontal hydraulic fracturing," said Tip of the Mitt Program Director Grenetta Thomassey, who sits on the project steering committee. "We are very glad to be working with the University of Michigan and the Graham Institute in taking a proactive, multidisciplinary look at the impacts and implications of this practice, and what to do about them, both now and in the long run."

The two-year study uses a collaborative research methodology called integrated assessment, which, according to Callewaert, is ideally suited for addressing complex sustainability challenges.

"There are many different perspectives on hydraulic fracturing," Callewaert said. "But, fortunately, we've been able to draw together some exceptional researchers across multiple disciplines at U-M, as well as several key stakeholders, in order to conduct a thorough, unbiased assessment to help determine what new approaches might be needed for Michigan."

Greg Fogle, a 40-year oil and gas industry veteran, is a representative of the Michigan Oil and Gas Association, a stakeholder in the project.

"MOGA is proud of the industry's record of conducting hydraulic fracturing safely and without environmental incident since 1948," Fogle said. "We believe this project will demonstrate how Michigan is a national model when it comes to regulating hydraulic fracturing and ensuring proper safeguards for keeping water, air and land protected."

John DeVries, a U-M Law School graduate and a steering committee member specializing in oil and gas law, emphasized the importance of a multifaceted investigation.

"This unbiased, sci

Contact: Jim Erickson
University of Michigan

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