Why does the Michigan DEQ say fracking’s been done for 60 years and there have been no incidents in Michigan? Shouldn’t we believe them?

A:

Unfortunately you can't believe the DEQ on this. Fracking in conventional wells has been done for decades, but not the new kind of deep, horizontal slickwater drilling and fracking the industry is doing now.
This technology of drilling vertical wells that then go horizontal deep underground to hard-to-reach shale and rock formations and fracturing them with high pressure, water, chemicals and sand or proppants that the public now calls horizontal fracking or just fracking for short, is less than a decade old and is responsible for numerous documented cases of water and air contaminations. DEQ would like you to believe that drilling the deeper formations of the Collingwood/Utica shale and the A-1 Carbonate layers with the new kind of horizontal fracking has been going on for decades but they are actually referring to conventional, mostly vertical fracking in the Antrim shale. (See the video "Unearthed: The Fracking Facade" on our home page).


The DEQ's website is filled with industry claims that we now know are not true: it says a typical frack well uses 5 million gallons, without mentioning the record-setting well which used 21 million gallons and another one recently permitted for 16 million gallons. The DEQ allowed 40,000 gallons of dangerous frack flowback, from a deep horizontal frack well, on roads last year. Finally, it refuses to enforce injection well rules on frack wells.

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