National Parks and Hydraulic Fracturing: Balancing Energy Needs, Nature and America’s National Heritage

National Parks Conservation Association

Federal land regulators should take special care to guard against potential harmful effects of hydraulic fracturing on lands surrounding US national parks, according to a report that the National Parks Conservation Association released Thursday.

The report, “National Parks and Hydraulic Fracturing: Balancing Energy Needs, Nature and America’s National Heritage,” examines the impact of existing, proposed and potential oil and natural gas development on lands surrounding national parks and offers recommendations to safeguard public health and the environment in the parks…

The report recommends that the BLM’s final fracking rules require that producers disclose to the public the chemicals to be used in a frack job before drilling begins, and that all flowback waters be stored in closed-loop containers and treated before they are allowed to re-enter public waters.

In addition, the report states that oil and gas operators should be required to pay for a comprehensive water quality monitoring plan for all park waters that their operations might potentially affect.

Included in the report are five case studies analyzing national parks that are “already in the path of the fracking boom”: Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the badlands in western North Dakota, Glacier National Park in the northwestern corner of Montana, Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in northeastern Pennsylvania, and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Obed Wild and Scenic River in northeastern Tennessee…


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