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U-M technical reports examine hydraulic fracturing in Michigan
Date:9/5/2013

ion of ecosystems. Possible hazards in nearby communities include increased traffic and motor vehicle accidents, stress related to risk perception among residents, and boomtown-associated effects such as a strained health care system and road degradation.

  • Policy/law. The state is the primary source of law and policy governing hydraulic fracturing in Michigan. The operator of a high-volume hydraulically fractured well must disclose the hazardous constituents of chemical additives to the state Department of Environmental Quality for each additive within 60 days of well completion. Unlike most other states, DEQ does not require operators to report to FracFocus.org, a nationwide chemical disclosure registry.

  • Economics. The gas extraction industry creates employment and income for Michigan, but the employment effects are modest compared with other industries and not large enough to "make or break" the state's economy. In the future, the number of technical jobs in the industry will likely increase, while less-skilled laborer positions will decline.

  • Public perceptions. A slight majority of Michigan residents believe the benefits of fracking outweigh the risks, but significant concerns remain about the potential impacts to human health, the environment and groundwater quality. The public tends to view the word "fracking" as the entirety of the natural gas development process, from leasing and permitting, to drilling and well completion, to transporting and storing wastewater and chemicals. Industry and regulatory agencies hold a much narrower definition that is limited to the process of injecting hydraulic fracturing fluids into a well. These differences in perceived meaning can lead to miscommunications that ultimately increase mistrust among stakeholders.

    In fracking, water, sand and chemicals (in a mix known as hydraulic fracturing fluid) are injected under high pressure d
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  • Contact: Jim Erickson
    ericksn@umich.edu
    734-647-1842
    University of Michigan
    Source:Eurekalert

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