News Feature | October 10, 2016

Miami Commission To Debate Effects Of Fracking On Water Supply

Dominique 'Peak' Johnson

By Peak Johnson

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Fracking continues to stoke debate in certain parts of the country, with officials in Miami-Dade County, FL, proposing a ban on the practice.

A county commission will debate this issue tomorrow, according to the International Business Times. The suggestion of the ban comes months after the state Senate failed to pass legislation that would have prohibited local governments from regulating fracking by themselves.

“This is about our water supply,” Daniella Levine Cava, a commissioner and the sponsor of the ordinance, told the Miami New Times. “In this kind of acid fracking, the chemicals are potentially very dangerous and not disclosed. The risk of them entering into our water supply through our porous limestone substrate is too high.”

According to the International Business Times, fracking is highly controversial in Miami-Dade County because the land sits upon the Biscayne Aquifer, which supplies water to a large number of Floridians. Fracking in the county would require penetrating that aquifer.

Scientists have said that if that water supply were polluted by any source then it would remain polluted forever, according to the International Business Times.

Hydraulic fracturing, as it is also known, produces wastewater that is often pumped into underground wells for disposal. This practice has been linked to a growing number of earthquakes in Oklahoma, Colorado, Ohio, and other states, according to The Washington Post.

Ohio, Texas, and Oklahoma are the only states to have made it illegal for local governments and communities to ban fracking.

The International Business Times reported that fracking became formally legal in Florida earlier this year. Much of the state sits atop “fragile aquifers and the state has a sponge-like geology” and residents have been proactive in voicing their concerns.

The EPA found last year that fracking does not pose a huge danger to drinking water, and the agency has been criticized over that conclusion.

To read more about fracking visit Water Online’s Produced Water Treatment Solutions Center.

Image credit: "Fracking LA, October 9, 2013" Erick Gustafson © 2013 used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/