A fracking well in full operation is a 24 hour process involving up to 4,000 HGV movements per well in order to move the water and chemicals required. The network of roads around Ryedale is comprised predominantly of single track lanes which are inherently unsuitable for heavy HGV use. Deterioration of these roads as a result is inevitable.
To compound this, the government has announced that the speed limit for HGV’s on single carriageway roads will increase from 40mph to 50mph from 2015.
Increased traffic also brings with it large increases in road accidents and fatalities, as has been observed in the USA. The number of people who have died in Texas car crashes involving commercial vehicles has increased by more than 50 percent since the fracking boom started there in 2008, according to a joint investigation from the Houston Chronicle and Houston Public Media.
In North Dakota, traffic fatalities have increased 350% in the last 10 years:
As well as the noise generated from 24 hour HGV movements, fracking sites also require large compressor stations to function. A this point it’s better to hear the actual operation rather than us try to explain!
Flaring is the process by which fracking rigs burn off excess hydrocarbon gases which cannot be recovered or recycled. The process is not only extremely wasteful and polluting, but also causes significant light pollution, owing to the 24 hour nature of fracking operations.
The following link is a map of satellite data showing the effect of the practice worldwide.It uses infrared data and filters it to display gas flares associated with oil and gas production. The epicentres of fracking in the United States are the states of Texas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Dakota.
A flaring ban in the United States will come into effect in 2015. The UK Government have no plans to implement a ban, and gas companies holding UK licences have confirmed they will use the practice.
Accidents caused by fracking operations are frequent and diverse in nature, from spills to explosions to leaks. Below are some examples:
– In August 2014, 20,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid at a fracking site in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma. The state’s oil and gas regulator has filed a contempt complaint against the operator, Blake Production Company, for failure to prevent pollution.
67 residents had to be evacuated from their homes after a Chesapeake Energy-operated well leaked natural gas and drilling mud in Converse County, Wyoming.