Following are studies of how fracking pollutes the local air and water,

and how "bomb trains" have caused death, destruction and oil spills:


Air pollution report at the Oil & Gas Task Force Meeting, Sept 25, 2019:

The slide below shows nonattainment area NOx emissions compared from 2011 to 2017 in 2 pie charts.

Denver and the Front Range has been in nonattainment status (EPA) for surface ozone, of which NOx is a precursor, since 2008. (We went from marginal to moderate in 2016 and only by receiving a federal extension have not yet been put at serious nonattainment category. While the allowable federal level decreased from 75 to 70 parts per billion, we do not meet even the less rigorous/protective standard-- and this finding holds steady even with our current inadequate air monitoring.)

This chart shows that that NOx emissions by Oil and Gas significantly increased from 2011 to 2017, increasing from 41 Tons per day to 66 TONS per day. While the federal, state, county and city has worked hard to reduce other areas of NOx emissions, Oil and Gas has increased from 13% to 28% of NOx from 2011 to 2017 in nonattainment areas of Colorado, West Fort Collins consistently reading as one of the highest levels.

Fort Collins’s level of surface ozone is equivalent to every person, EVERY CHILD living in Fort Collins (and the Front Range/Denver area), smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/08/13/750581235/air-pollution-may-be-as-harmful-to-your-lungs-as-smoking-cigarettes-study-finds

State of the Air: Colorado Report card, American Lung Association. The ongoing survey by the ALA that reports on air pollution across the US, showing all counties in Colorado. Larimer County had an "F" for ozone air pollution, based on 2015-2017 EPA data (see Methodology page).

Denver and Fort Collins Among the Top 25 Worst Cities For Ozone Pollution, KUNC radio station, May 3, 2018. Citing the American Lung Association 2018 report, surface ozone is the main reason for the Front Range's bad air pollution.


Bomb train rolling through Fort Collins, Oak Street & Mason, summer 2019

"Bomb trains" got their name after several extremely destructive accidents occurred. They transport crude oil from remote fracking operations, because there are no pipelines in place, and the least expensive (therefore, least safe) railroad cars are used. Aside from explosions, if the the cars derail, they cause enormous oil spills, which are nearly impossible to clean up. Here is one article that describes a horrific accident from a train carrying Bakken crude oil from North Dakota that happened July 6, 2013 in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, which killed 47 people in an instant, and destroyed much of the town center:

'Bomb Trains,' a New Book on the Deadly, Ongoing Threat of Oil by Rail, DeSmog Blog, July 9, 2019

The Science of Bomb Trains

Video that explains why bomb trains are so dangerous and how the industry could do more to make them safer. It shows clips from various videos to summarize the concepts:

DeSmogCast - The Science of Bomb Trains


Oil and gas wastewater used for irrigation may suppress plant immune systems, CSU College News, Oct 31, 2019

A study by CSU professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences was recently published, about a greenhouse study done of using fracking waste water to irrigate wheat. Not positive on the outcome, it was surprising that the plants survived at all...

Fracking is Depleting U.S. Drinking Water Sources at Catastrophic Rates, returntonow.net, Oct 30, 2019.

Authored by Duke University and University of Central Arkansas, an authoritative study of how water use by fracking has risen dramatically in the biggest plays in the past few years -- all of which becomes toxic waste, which when pumped down disposal wells, is causing earthquakes.

Hydraulic Fracturing Can Potentially Contaminate Drinking Water Sources, NRDC, July 2012.

Concise, but comprehensive, description of how water supplies can become contaminated from fracking.

Policy Basics of Fracking, NRDC, Feb 2013.

A concise list of what major environmental laws fracking is exempt from. Surprisingly, the article does not list why: the Halliburton Loophole, which is explained on our Economics of Fracking page, or in this report.

EDF Statement on EPA's Water Study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas, EDF, June 2015.

A (very) brief summary of EDF's concerns about fracking.