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Millions of Gallons of Hazardous Chemicals Injected Into Wells, Report Says

April 17, 2011

Ian Urbina has a new article in the Sunday April 17 edition of The New York Times titled “Millions of Gallons of Hazardous Chemicals Injected Into Wells, Report Says.”

Selected excerpts from this article:

“Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats.”

“The report, released late Saturday, also faulted companies for at times ‘injecting fluids containing chemicals that they themselves cannot identify’.

The inquiry over hydrofracking, which was initiated by the House Energy and Commerce Committee when Mr. Waxman led it last year, also found that 14 of the nation’s most active hydraulic fracturing companies used 866 million gallons of hydraulic fracturing products — not including water. More than 650 of these products contained chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or are listed as hazardous air pollutants, the report said.


Some ingredients mixed into the hydraulic fracturing fluids were common and generally harmless, like salt and citric acid. Others were unexpected, like instant coffee and walnut hulls, the report said. Many ingredients were ‘extremely toxic,’ including benzene, a known human carcinogen, and lead.

Companies injected large amounts of other hazardous chemicals, including 11.4 million gallons of fluids containing at least one of the toxic or carcinogenic B.T.E.X. chemicals — benzene, toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene. The companies used the highest volume of fluids containing one or more carcinogens in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.”

A sign warns against swimming in a holding lake in Texas, where Fountain Quail Water Management separates and cleans hydrofracking water. (Source: Matt Nager NYT)

  1. April 21, 2011 9:57 am

    the correct name is Ian urbina, not urbana

    • Kristian Boose permalink
      April 21, 2011 6:13 pm

      Thank you for pointing out our typo error…it has been corrected. No offense meant to Mr Urbina. Peace.


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