Hydraulic Fracturing and
the Environment: The
Science and Facts of
John F. Peiserich
Perkins & Trotter, PLLC
What is the timeline?
How are you protected?
• The Clean Water Act regulates surface water discharges and storm-water runoff.
• The Clean Air Act sets rules for air emissions from engines, gas processing equipment
and other sources associated with drilling and production activities.
• The Safe Drinking Water Act regulates the disposal of fluid waste deep underground.
• The National Environmental Policy Act requires permits and environmental impact
assessments for drilling on federal lands.
• The Occupational Safety and Health Act sets standards to help keep workers safe.
These include requiring Material Safety Data Sheets be maintained and readily available
onsite for chemicals used at that location.
• The Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act requires storage of
regulated chemicals in certain quantities to be reported annually to local and state
• The National Pipeline Safety Act sets standards for pipeline construction, operation and
maintenance administered by U.S. Department of Transportation.
Additional State* Protections
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission
Arkansas Natural Resources Commission –
permitting of water use
* The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers administers
404 permitting which is predominately related to
potential impacts to surface water but requires
an ADEQ water quality certification.
Protecting Everyone’s Water
• Well Casing Program
• Cement Bond Log
• Mechanical Integrity
• Annulus Pressure
• Federal Rules and
• Routinely Updated State
Rules and Regulations
Typical Fluid Constituents
Constituent Name Generic Name Common Use Hazardous as Appears
1,2,4 Aromatic Paint, Mold Making Kit (Arts and Crafts), Unleaded Gasoline Yes
Alcohol, C12-16, Alcohols, Car Wash Liquid, Laundry Stain Remover, Air Freshener No
Aldehyde Aldehyde Metal Cutting Fluid, Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Ice Cream, Candy, Baked Yes
Goods, Chewing Gum, Condiments and Meats
Ammonium Inorganic Salt Hand Wash, Shampoo, Breakfast Cereal Yes
Ammonium Inorganic salt Milk Products No
Crystalline Silica, Silica Cat Litter, Tile Mortar, Arts & Crafts Ceramic Glaze Yes
Ethanol Alcohol Ginseng, Deodorizer, Dish Soap, Cologne, Makeup (Mascara), Mouthwash Yes
Ethoxylated Fatty Ethoxylated Fatty Household Multipurpose Cleaner, Laboratory Hand Cleaner No
Fatty Acid Tall Oil Tall Oil Fatty Acid Car Polish, Industrial Hand Cleaner No
Heavy Aromatic Hydrocarbon- Industrial Cleaning Solution, Tire Repair, Agricultural Insecticide Yes
Petroleum Naphtha Petroleum Distillate
Hydrochloric Inorganic Acid Table Olives, Unripened Cheese, Cottage Cheese Yes
Hydrotreated Light Hydrocarbon – Oil Wood Stain, Air Freshener, Surface Cleaner Aerosol Yes
Petroleum Distillate Petroleum Distillate
Isopropanol Alcohol Tape Head Cleaner, Hops Extract used for Beer, Air Freshener Yes
Methanol Alcohol Furniture Refinisher, Liquid Hand Soap, Windshield Washer Concentrate, Yes
Methyl Isobutyl Ketone Paint Thinner, Wood Stain, Metal Adhesive, Automotive High Heat Paint No
Naphthalene Polycyclic Aromatic Mothballs, Agricultural Insecticide, Heating Fuel Oil Yes
Polyethoxylated Ethoxylated Amine Toilet Bowl Cleaner No
Fatty Amine Salt
Quaternary Quaternary Industrial and Commercial Water Acidity Neutralizing Solution Yes
Ammonium Salt Ammonium Salt
Sodium Chloride Inorganic Salt Macaroni and Noodle Products, Canned Corn, Tomato Concentrate, Frozen No
As defined by OSHA Standard 1910.1200 (the OSHA Haz-com standard),
a hazardous chemical is one which is a physical hazard or a health hazard.
Health hazard means a chemical for which there is statistically significant
evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established
scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed
employees. The term "health hazard" includes chemicals which
are carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive
toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers,
hepatotoxins, nephrotoxins, neurotoxins, agents which act on the
hematopoietic system, and agents which damage the lungs, skin, eyes, or
Physical hazard means a chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence
that it is a combustible liquid, a compressed gas, explosive, flammable,
an organic peroxide, an oxidizer, pyrophoric, unstable (reactive) or water-
Some of My Favorite Hazardous
Materials - at Least those with
A Few of My Favorite Carcinogens
– Things We Like to Eat
EPA Administrator Jackson’s
Congressional Testimony on May
Jackson said natural gas creates less air pollution than other
fossil fuels “so increasing America’s natural gas production is a
She said Congress told the EPA to study the relationship between
fracking and drinking water. “We are doing that, with input from
technical experts, the public and industry,” she said.
“In the meantime, EPA will step in to protect local residents if
a driller jeopardizes clean water and the state government
does not act.”
Under questioning from a Pennsylvania Republican, Jackson said
she was “not aware of any proven case where the fracking
process itself” had affected water .
UPDATE – April 2012 – Jackson says “in no case have we made a
definitive determination that the fracing process has caused
chemicals to enter groundwater.” This is after Pavillion, WY.
A “Greening” O&G Industry
Economic Benefits from Natural
Gas Production including
It is responsible for creating 2.8 million American jobs.
It is forecast to add 1 million U.S. manufacturing jobs over the next 15 years.
It has led to an annual increase in U.S. household disposable income of $926.
Shale gas alone is forecast to contribute $933 billion revenues to federal,
state and local government coffers over the next 25 years, including helping
pay for schools, law enforcement and other essential municipal priorities.
It is the transportation fuel of choice of American cities large and small—as
they seek to save money and promote clean air through their bus fleets.
It has helped reduce U.S. power sector carbon emissions to levels not seen in
20 years as communities embrace this energy as a cleaner electricity choice.
It allowed the top 100 U.S. power producers to reduce by one-third
emissions of sulfur dioxide and smog-forming nitrogen oxide—in just a two-
And, as a transportation fuel it is allowing city bus fleets, large company
fleets (AT&T, UPS, Verizon, Waste Management, et al) to rely on an American
fuel that costs on average 40% less than diesel or gasoline.
North Little Rock and Mayor Hays have brought PUBLIC CNG to Central
Arkansas at $1.44 per gasoline gallon equivalent !
What Should the Industry
It appears historic operations are the most likely
cause of potential groundwater and drinking
water issues. The O&G Industry risk of potential
water issues is no different from any other
industry that manages fluids.
The development of new technologies, improved
drilling and completion techniques, and “green”
completion fluids all add layers of protection for
Public outreach is a necessary component of any
industrial activity and one that needs substantial
additional effort in the O&G Industry.