Food & Water Watch calls for fracking ban

July 26, 2011 at 7:39 AM

DETROIT, July 26 (UPI) -- With Michigan sitting on 20 percent of the world's available fresh water resources, fracking of shale gas deposits should be banned, an activist group said.

The Detroit City Council last week passed a resolution that supports a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Lynna Kaucheck with the advocacy group Food and Water Watch said Detroit sent a strong message that fracking is a danger to public health.

"The time to ban fracking in Michigan is now," she said in a statement.

Hydraulic fracturing uses chemicals and abrasives to coax natural gas out of shale formations. Opponents of the practice say there is a danger of the chemicals getting into drinking water supplies.

Michigan contains some of the largest shale natural gas deposits in the United States.

While the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said fracking has been practiced in the state without incident for more than 70 years, Food and Water Watch said there were more than 1,000 cases of water contamination reported near fracking sites.

Operators in Michigan under measures passed in May are required to list characteristics of the chemical additives used in fracking fluid. West Virginia, Texas and others have passed similar regulatory measures regarding shale.

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