University of Michigan’s comprehensive fracking study

Graham Sustainability Institute study underpins State’s fracking green light.

The scope of the 200 page integrated assessment of hydraulic fracturing by University of Michigan researchers and the Graham Sustainability Institute is too great to allow for our usual short summary. The document is the fruit of three years of work that set out to inform decision makers in industry and government, setting out the pros and cons of the many facets of shale development.

Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, praised the report and expressed his appreciation that many of the state’s suggestions were incorporated into the final version. The report’s findings have helped shape changes to state fracking regulations particularly with more preparatory work and monitoring of water levels. Operators must now report the pressures and volumes pumped and post chemical additive information to the FracFocus disclosure registry.

The report, which cost $600,000 to produce, is neither ‘pro’ nor ‘anti’ fracking. Instead it provides a detailed analysis of the likely outcomes of various courses of action. It would appear that the report was taken as a green light for fracking for the State. The UK Energy Institute also partnered in the study.

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