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Published: September 9, 2013 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

Fracking killed fish

Fracking fluid is not as safe as the gas industry claims. A study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that a fracking fluid spill was responsible for significant fish deaths in a Kentucky stream.
The spill occurred in Acorn Fork Creek in southern Kentucky. The stream was designated as an Outstanding State Resource Waters by the state.
According to USGS scientist Diana Papoulias, “Our study is a precautionary tale of how entire populations could be put at risk even with small-scale fluid spills. This is especially the case if the species is threatened or is only found in limited areas, like the blackside dace is in the Cumberland.”
The blackside dace is a small, colorful fish that is federally threatened and is an excellent indicator of the environmental health of a stream. Die-offs of other species, including the creek chub and green sunfish, also occurred. The study found surviving fish that had developed gill lesions as well as liver and spleen damage from the spill.
After the fracking fluid entered the creek, the pH level dropped from 7.5 to 5.6. A lower pH means the water is more acidic.
This is yet more proof that fracking is unsafe. While the gas industry may claim that their fracking fluid is completely harmless and composed of common chemicals, nothing could be further from the truth.
If this is what happens to fish when this stuff gets in the water, one can only wonder what it will do to us.

Sam Hoszwa
Butler Township
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