Researchers at the University of Michigan are conducting a study on the impact hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has on the environment.
The school is working with the government, environmental groups, and industry representatives to explore fracking’s effects in seven areas: human health, environment and ecology, economics, technology, public perception, law and policy, and geology/hydrodynamics.
According to a press release, new technologies, such as the increasing use of horizontal drilling, have led to a fracking boom. However, the boom has brought up many concerns about what risks are involved in the process, and whether some of the economic benefits are worth taking those risks.
The study, which started in October, has a specific focus on the state of Michigan, according to John Callewaert, director of integrated assessment at UM’s Graham Sustainability Institute, which is overseeing the study.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says the state will partner with researchers in the study, who will present their findings and recommendations in 2014.