The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of revising national standards for gas and oil emissions. In the past few years, gas and oil industry production in the U.S. has increased dramatically, and the Clean Air Act is in need of revision to accommodate new contamination-causing technology. The process of fracking – short for hydraulic fracturing, a land-based drilling procedure – emits a number of hazardous carcinogens, including benzene and ground-level ozone, or smog. Oil and gas drilling is also the single largest source of methane emissions, equivalent to the total carbon dioxide pollution emitted by from 60 coal-fired power plants.
Residents living near fracking wells are becoming sickened. Headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, sore throats, and nausea are common complaints, along with respiratory illnesses and decreased lung function. Updated emissions standards are long overdue.
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