EurekAlert: Is your drinking water toxic? This app may help you find out. “Exposure to hydraulic fracturing fluid in drinking water has been shown to increase the risk of respiratory problems, premature births, congenital heart defects, and other medical problems. But not all wells are created equal…. Now, a new, interactive tool created by Penn Medicine researchers allows community members and scientists to find out which toxins may be lurking in their drinking water as a result of fracking.”
Mashable: Trump administration changes EPA website to be kinder to fracking. “At the beginning of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made changes to its website pages on fracking. A watchdog group known as the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative tracked those changes across the EPA’s site and just released a report documenting the group’s findings. The result of the changes has left an official U.S. government website looking more like an extension of the fossil fuel industry than a federal agency with a mission to protect the environment.”
US House of Representatives: SST Committee Probes Russian Attempts to Influence U.S. Energy Market via Facebook, Twitter and Google Advertisements . “U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) yesterday sent letters to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc. requesting documents and information related to Russian entities purchasing anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuel advertisements on the platforms. The letters are part of the committee’s ongoing oversight of efforts to manipulate the U.S. energy market.”
In development: a database of human-induced earthquakes. (From fracking, mining, damming, etc.) “How many earthquakes have human processes induced? Probably many more than we think, scientists indicated last week at American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. Just in the United States, the number of earthquakes per year in the center of the country has jumped dramatically since the early 2000s. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), each year between 1973 and 2008, the central United States experienced about 21 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or higher. This number grew to almost 100 per year between 2009 and 2013. In 2014 alone, the region experienced more than 400 earthquakes.”
The state of Pennsylvania is developing a new database of chemicals used by fracking companies.
“Pennsylvania will require shale gas companies to disclose electronically the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing in a new state-run database by next summer.”