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Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing on Ohio’s Infrastructure. David Nash Potential Impacts. Landsliding and roads. Water supply. Seismic activity. Full Disclosure: I’m a geologist. Relationship with extractive industries. Placement of students. Alumni relations.

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Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing on Ohio’s Infrastructure

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Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing

on Ohio’s Infrastructure

David Nash


Potential Impacts

Landsliding and roads

Water supply

Seismic activity


Full Disclosure: I’m a geologist

  • Relationship with extractive industries
  • Placement of students
  • Alumni relations
  • Prudent development (know total cost)
  • Geomorphic focus




500 bbl Frac Trailer

500 x 42 g/bbl x 8.35 lbs/g ≈87 tons


Fracking’s and

Seismic Activity

potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing

Potential Environmental Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing

Amy Townsend-Small

  • Groundwater depletion
  • Water quality impacts
  • Air quality impacts
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
impacts on cincinnati
Impacts on Cincinnati
  • DIRECT environmental impacts on the Cincinnati region are unlikely
    • Except if wastewater is imported here for disposal

Image source: ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management

impacts on cincinnati1
Impacts on Cincinnati
  • May have positive and/or negative economic impacts
    • Positive: due to increased commerce in Ohio
    • Negative: increased infrastructure and pollution control costs
  • Also: increased withdrawal and combustion of fossil fuels will negatively impact us all due to air pollution and climate change
groundwater depletion
Groundwater Depletion
  • Each new well will require tens of millions of gallons for initial development
  • Will this come from surface waters (Lake Erie, Ohio River) or groundwater aquifers? Unknown
  • For reference: water use in Cincinnati is about 100 million gallons per day – so effects will likely be localized to fracking areas
water pollution
Water Pollution
  • Two issues:
  • Chemicals added to water by drilling company
    • Salts
    • Acids
    • Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
    • Biocides and algicides
    • “Proprietary” chemicals
  • Chemicals produced by interactions with shales
    • Hydrocarbons (BTEX: benzenes, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene)
    • Additional salts
    • Radioactive isotopes
water pollution1
Water Pollution
  • Disposal of fracking water
    • Surface disposal
    • Deep injection
    • Recycling
    • Treat and release

Image source: Journal of Petroleum Technology

atmospheric impacts
Atmospheric impacts
  • Ozone and smog from diesel-powered equipment
  • Methane release
    • Explosive in high concentrations
    • Greenhouse gas (25 x carbon dioxide)
  • “Fugitive” methane emissions may result in a higher overall carbon footprint for fracking than for coal
  • Noise pollution