The Marcellus Shale region is a geographic formation in the Appalachian Basin that spans six states: Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Controversy often surrounds the area, as it is a rich reservoir of natural gas and has long served as a bastion for hydraulic fracking. Recently, natural gas has become a main source of energy for the United States and as a result, fracking has dramatically increased in recent years.
Fracking occurs when a hydraulic fluid is forced into a well and driven into shale rock, causing fracturing and access to natural gas. The gas flows to the surface, where it is collected in storage tanks. The fracking fluid, on the other hand, stays in the ground, and is made up of many different chemicals. These chemicals leak into the surrounding environment and contaminate the groundwater.
It is the contamination of this valuable renewable natural resource that we intend to investigate throughout this project via an examination of the economics, politics, science, and stakeholders involved in this issue.