Philadelphia Fracking Accident Lawyer
Fracking is the popular name for a practice known in the energy industry as hydraulic fracturing—a type of drilling for natural gas or oil. But rather than using a drill to bore through the earth and rock to the fuel, fracking uses millions of gallons of highly pressurized fluid to break an underground rock layer and release the fuel into places where it can be extracted more easily. Fracking has become more common in Pennsylvania as conventional wells have dwindled and energy companies have needed to look deeper for sources. However, many Pennsylvanians now worry that fracking is contaminating their groundwater and air, putting them at risk of cancer and other serious diseases, and driving down property values Luckily, a Philadelphia fracking accident attorney understands all of the dangers associated with fracking and is there to help victims to have been affected by this.
One major problem with fracking is the kind of fluid used to break the rock layers. Though companies may say the fracking fluid is water, they typically add multiple chemicals to that water, including numerous known carcinogens or air pollutants. These chemicals can get into the groundwater around the fracking site, polluting the water the community relies on. For Pennsylvania families, the result is water they can’t trust. In some cases, water contaminated by fracking has made people sick.
A related fracking problem is the potential for fracking to release methane and other contaminants from underground gas fields into the groundwater. Movie lovers may remember the fracking documentary Gasland, which showed a Pennsylvania man lighting the water in his sink on fire—possibly a result of methane contamination of the community’s groundwater. Other materials released along with the gas include potentially harmful radioactive substances. And because fracking can also release gas into the air, communities risk pollution of the air they breathe—and a more rare, but deadly, risk of a gas explosion.
Unfortunately for Pennsylvania residents, it’s difficult to say exactly what risks they face from fracking. That’s because Congress passed a law in 2005 exempting natural gas companies from disclosing what chemicals they inject under our communities. This prevents the EPA and other government agencies from determining whether fracking leaves any dangerous substances behind. However, one Congressional report found that more than a fifth of those used are carcinogens or federally regulated pollutants. For people living nearby, according to studies, the results include respiratory problems, nausea, dizziness and the illness or death of pets and livestock.
Much of the pollution caused by fracking in Philadelphia and all over Pennsylvania can be traced to unsafe or even illegal practices by oil and gas companies. Fracking can be done without contaminating groundwater if the fields are far enough away from one another, and if pipes, wells, etc. are without leaks or explosions. But all too often, the safe option is pushed aside because it’s less profitable. Companies using fracking have already been hit with numerous fines for violating environmental regulations—a 2010 report found thousands of violations in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale fields alone.
These violations put everyone in the surrounding area at risk of serious health problems. If you believe you or your family suffered health problems caused by pollution from fracking in Pennsylvania, don’t hesitate to call a Philadelphia fracking accident attorney at Rosenbaum & Associates. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, and we have years of experience getting our clients the money they need to hold wrongdoers responsible and be fairly compensated. To tell us your story and discuss your legal rights, call us toll-free today at (215) 569-0200 or send us a message through our website.