Fracking debate heating up in NY?

By Tyler Race

July 17, 2014 Updated Jul 17, 2014 at 7:15 PM EDT

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The fracking debate has caused even more controversy in New York State.

Anthony Ingraffea, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, spent time testing data from Pennsylvania wells.

Ingraffea examined records from the 41,000 wells across the state. Along with his team, Ingraffea found that nearly 8,000 wells in the state had not been inspected. The professor predicted in eight years, 40 percent of those wells will need repairs.

Ingraffea also said people cannot keep up with the pace of the wells being dug.

"There are more wells and more now wells coming on line than those taken out of operation. So, that means either you have to increase the workload on inspectors or increase the number of inspectors," Ingraffea said.

The Cornell professor also warned about the risks of hydraulic fracturing, stating that fracturing may indirectly be causing earthquakes in states such as Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas and Arkansas.

"I understand the forces of nature and the forces of human action that can cause seismic activity. There is no question anymore in the scientific literature that an indirect result of fracking is human reduced seismicity," Ingraffea said.

The leftover fracking fluid, according to Ingraffea, is released back into the earth. Then, the liquid can lubricate faults, causing them to slip. This is when an earthquake can occur.

In a recent CBS news report on the Cornell study, Stanford University geophysicist Mark Zoback said fracking has a place as long as governments set up rigorous standards to protect both public health and the environment.

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