High-volume horizontal hydrofracturing, commonly referred to as "fracking" is a controversial process used to extract natural gas from shale rock formations underground. Unlike conventional natural gas drilling, this industrial process requires well pads four acres or larger and involves increased traffic, roadway construction, land fragmentation and noise pollution. During fracking, enormous amounts of water mixed with sand and toxic chemicals are injected underground. Waste water is then stored and injected deep underground in injection wells (which have been linked to earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio).
The long-term effects of fracking are still relatively unknown, but evidence suggests that fracking could contaminate our air, water, and soil, which are essential to a thriving local food and farming community. Air pollution can result in lower crop yields in soybeans, spinach, tomatoes, beans, alfalfa, and other forages. Livestock are also at risk, because they are attracted to the toxic and salty brine used in fracking. Waste water, which contains chemicals used in the fracking process and naturally occurring heavy metals and toxic gases, can contaminate ground and surface water supplies through underground fissures, surface spills, and blowouts.
Farmers' livelihoods depend on the integrity of the soil, clean water, and pollution-free air. Because of their reliance on the land, farmers are among those most at risk to suffer from the negative impacts of fracking. As the fracking industry grows in Ohio, farmers' concerns are mounting. Click here to learn about the challenges that four Ohio farmers are facing and what you can do to help.
The success of our policy work relies on OEFFA's dedicated members, who are leading the way to strong and healthy local food systems. For more information about OEFFA's policy work or to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208.