“Get the Frack Out”: Environmental and Economic Implications of Fracking in Bradford County, PA.

By Roy Samuel

The Marcellus Shale is a region that extends as far north as upstate New York, through Pennsylvania to West Virginia, and as far west as Ohio. Specifically, I intend to focus on Bradford County, PA between the year 2005, which was when the use of fracking to extract shale gas increased dramatically, and 2015, where legislation has slowed down the growth of these sites under Governor Tom Wolf. This county has six well operators, 765 violations of legislative policy, and 1,097 wells. Those involved include the residents of Bradford County, as well as several well operators, such as Chesapeake Appalachia LLC and Talisman Energy USA Inc. Generally, the Marcellus Shale region has sedimentary rock buried many feet beneath the Earth’s surface. Natural gas has built up over time in this area due to the process of decomposition. Therefore, to access that natural gas, the process of hydraulic fracturing, wherein water, sand, and other chemicals are injected into rocks at a high pressure, has become common. Some of these potentially carcinogenic chemicals can escape and contaminate groundwater near the site.