A new analysis of state inspection records from natural gas drilling and production sites in the Fayetteville Shale contains several startling revelations: The industry is responsible for widespread violations of Arkansas clean water standards; Companies are not following their own standards and best management practices in most cases; The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is doing little to enforce these violations or ensure corrective actions are taken to protect water supplies.
This report compares protections for land owners, air quality, water quality and public health from the negative impacts of natural gas development using hydraulic fracturing of shale formations, as used in the Arkansas Fayetteville Shale play. The report finds that many states offer their residents stronger safeguards than those found in Arkansas, with a few notable exceptions.
Natural gas development in Arkansas brings with it economic opportunity, but also significant threats. The individual property rights of many Arkansans are being encroached upon by gas companies. Arkansas’s natural ecosystems and the air, land, and water which we all depend upon for survival—some of the most pristine and abundant in the world—are at serious risk. Gas development must be balanced in a responsible approach that takes advantage of the opportunities created by the industry but also protects Arkansans from the risks of development—a balance that Arkansas has yet to find.