Oil and gas companies who use hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” to extract natural gas are facing a growing number of lawsuits over air pollution, water contamination, and injuries caused by earthquakes.
Need a Texas Fracking Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If your home or community had air or water contamination from fracking, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
EPA Links Fracking Wells to Earthquakes in North Texas
August 25, 2016 — The EPA believes there is “significant possibility” that fracking wells caused a recent spike in earthquake activity in North Texas. There were 21 magnitude-3.0 or greater quakes in Texas last year, including a 4.0 quake just south of Dallas that caused minor damage. Click here to read more.
Fracking Lawsuit Ends in $4.2 Million Award for Pennsylvania Families
In March 2016, a federal jury ordered Cabot Oil & Gas to pay $4.2 million to two families in northeastern Pennsylvania whose groundwater was contaminated by fracking. More than 40 other families settled with Cabot in 2012.
What is Fracking?
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a controversial method of extracting natural gas that has boomed in popularity in the United States over the last decade. Water, sand, and chemicals are injected deep inside the earth under high pressure, which breaks up layers of shale and releases natural gas.
How Does Fracking Work?
The process begins with a vertical shaft drilled several hundred meters into the earth. From there, a horizontal hole is drilled into the gas-bearing layer of rock.
Next, fracking fluid is pumped into the rock under extremely high pressure. The fluid may contain millions of gallons of water, 50,000 gallons of toxic chemicals, and several thousand tons of sand.
Fluid breaks the rock into millions of pieces, sand holds the cracks open, the chemicals dissolve minerals. The fluid is pumped out, natural gas is quickly extracted, and the well is abandoned. Finally, the highly-toxic fluid is injected into “waste” wells deep underground and sealed forever — hopefully.
The primary risk is the contamination of water sources. Not only is fracking water-intensive, the “waste” water is extremely toxic and it can’t be treated. Many water sources in the United States have already been contaminated. No one knows the long-term risks.
Fracking companies will not say what toxic chemicals are in the fluid because they are “trade secrets.” However, there are about 700 chemicals that can be used in the process, including carcinogens.
Another risk is the release of methane. Natural gas consists largely of methane. You may have seen videos of water catching on fire due to methane migration — high levels of methane gas in the water.
Last year, the Washington Post reported that fracking “caused ‘significant damage’ to drinking-water aquifers” in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Oil companies often try to deny responsibility for methane migration, noting that methane naturally migrates to the surface. However, this process normally takes thousands of years. Fracking accelerates that process by creating a path for the methane to escape.
Fracking Earthquakes in Texas
In the last 40 years, 60% of earthquakes in Texas were caused by fracking and other oil and gas activity, according to a new study (PDF) by researchers at at University of Texas at Austin.
Out of 162 earthquakes in the state since 1975 and 2015, the scientists said only 13% were natural. Last year, there were 21 earthquakes of 3.0-magnitude or greater. Click here to read more.
Earthquakes in Oklahoma
Fracking may also be causing unusual seismic activity near waste-water injection wells. Experts believe earthquakes occur when fluid “lubricates” giant slabs or rock along fault-lines deep underground.
In 2014, Oklahoma experienced 585 earthquakes of 3.0 or greater magnitude that were serious enough to be felt indoors — more than all the earthquakes in the state in the last 30 years combined. The state now has more earthquakes than anywhere else in the world.
Oklahoma Fracking Earthquake Lawsuits
In 2015, a lawsuit was filed by a woman who says fracking caused an earthquake that toppled her chimney and sent rocks crashing through her roof and onto her legs. The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently ruled that her case can proceed, paving the way for other people who were injured by fracking-related earthquakes to seek compensation from oil and gas companies.
Fracking Class Action
The Clark Firm, LLP is nationally recognized as a class action law firm, but we are not filing a fracking class action in Texas. Instead, we are filing individual lawsuits for people with the following legal claims:
- Drinking water contamination
- Earthquake injuries
- Property damage
- Lost property value due to pollution
Need a Fracking Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas fracking lawyers for a free lawsuit review.