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ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS AND CASE STUDIES: Addressing the Societal Costs of Unconventional Oil and Gas Exploration and Production: A Framework for Evaluating Short-Term, Future, and Cumulative Risks and Uncertainties of Hydrofracking

  • Simona L. Perry (a1)

This article proposes a framework for addressing societal costs—psychological, social, community, and human health risks and uncertainties—associated with natural gas extraction and production from tight shale, tight sand, or coal-bed methane formations that use hydraulic fracturing processes. The US Environmental Protection Agency's 2011–14 study of hydraulic fracturing and the risks posed to drinking-water resources is used as a case study of how such a framework could be applied. This report also discusses some of the current regulatory and institutional barriers that make incorporation of societal costs into science-based and proactive decisions regarding unconventional oil and gas exploration and production in the United States more difficult and recommends some general steps for getting past those barriers.

Environmental Practice 14:1–14 (2012)

Corresponding author
Simona L. Perry, c.a.s.e. Consulting Services, 9810 Dairyton Court, Montgomery Village, MD 20886; (phone) 240-599-6655; (e-mail)
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Environmental Practice
  • ISSN: 1466-0466
  • EISSN: 1466-0474
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