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Report: Fracking caused millions of gallons of waste to be dumped into the Gulf of Mexico over the last decade

At least 66.3 million gallons of fracking waste were dumped into the Gulf since 2010, the report says.
Credit: Lukasz Z - stock.adobe.com

Millions of gallons of waste were dumped into the Gulf of Mexico over the last decade due to fracking, a report found.

The Center for Biological Diversity, which released its findings last month, says it tracked more than 3,000 instances of offshore fracking using data compiled from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. What it found was at least 66.3 million gallons of fracking waste were dumped into the Gulf since 2010.

“A decade into the offshore fracking boom, officials still haven’t properly studied its public health impact," said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "The failure to curb this major source of pollution is astounding and unacceptable."

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Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing as its also known, has seen a boom in recent years as it helped revolutionize oil production in the U.S. It works by blasting large amounts of water, chemicals and sand into the seafloor in order to fracture rocks which leads to oil and gas being released. 

However, all those chemicals being shot into waterways have been a cause for concern for environmentalists. Citing an industry report sent to the EPA, the center says each frack releases more than 21,400 gallons of waste which include chemicals like biocides, polymers and solvents. 

The environmental group says such chemicals can be harmful to aquatic species and human health, leading to cancer, reproductive issues, neurotoxicity and even death.

The center recommends banning fracking, as it says, oil companies have not been adequately monitored and regulated by state and federal agencies.