ArkansasFracking.org’s mission is to inform the public and its servants of the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” in the Fayetteville Shale natural gas play in North Central Arkansas. There are also dangers with other phases of oil and gas production like drilling and waste disposal.
There is no doubt that some of the residents of this great state have benefited from employment in this industry and/or from royalties they are paid from the leasing of their minerals. This income has helped Arkansans.
Fracking is an economic, environmental, and therefore political issue, but above all it is a human health and human rights issue. Some people benefit from this industry while others are negatively impacted. Water contamination, air pollution, noise, light, odors, road damage, nuisances, property rights violations, negative effects on businesses, and other problems are common complaints from area residents.
These problems not only impact the people in the area, but their pets, livestock, and crops. Wildlife and plantlife are also affected. Also, the effects are not confined to the Fayetteville Shale area, as the water people drink, some of the food that people eat, and the air people breathe may come from inside the Fayetteville Shale.
In March of 2011, Stop Arkansas Fracking was founded by Sam, April, and Emily Lane. After area earthquakes and rumors that drilling and fracking were to blame, the Lane’s set out to research the issue and talk to residents in the community. What they found was shocking. Not only was the gas industry responsible for the increase in local seismicity, they were also responsible for harming the property, health, and overall well-being of many families and businesses in the area. State regulators, we found out quickly, were slow to respond to complaints, rarely following up with residents, and rarely enforcing the regulations that were in place. The Lane’s could not sit idly by and watch their state and its people suffer at the hand of the fossil fuel industry.
The all-volunteer, unpaid force works very hard with limited resources (and wonderful support from Earthways and others) to educate people in the area. We also have produced a documentary film about the fracking issue, with particular attention paid to waste disposal and earthquakes. See trailer here: Land of Opportunity. In 2012, Stop Arkansas Fracking became ArkansasFracking.org and our mission has stayed the same.
We work for residents, industry employees and their families (who are put at great risk to bodily and psychological injury). We work for those who have willingly leased their minerals to those who were forced to lease. We work for those who live downstream and downwind. We work for all of Arkansans who enjoy the beauty and dignity of the Natural State. Unfortunately, our state’s splendors are in great decline. However, pockets of individuals and groups are working very hard for change and making headway. We are glad to be a part of the progress.
ArkansasFracking.org continually works to educate the Arkansas public, legislators, regulators, and others across the country who are also feeling the effects of the oil and gas industry. Our Board of Directors give regular public presentations in Arkansas and in other oil and gas producing states. Our film is publically screened (for free) in Central and Northwestern Arkansas, as well as Oklahoma, Tennessee, and parts of the East Coast. Several copies of the film have been freely distributed to academicians and federal officials throughout the country, and of course is made freely available to any member of the public. We believe in free access to knowledge, understanding that knowledge is power.
ArkansasFracking.org also has capabilities to sample air quality in the Fayetteville Shale and we have been doing so since early 2013–after being trained in Nov. 2012 by the International nonprofit group, Global Community Monitor. Currently, we are participating in a 5-state study on air quality effects around natural gas operations (with Pennsylvanian, Ohio, Colorado, and Wyoming). Our sample results will be released in October of 2014 and will show that the Fayetteville Shale is a Formaldehyde “hotspot.” Education about air quality issues in the Fayetteville Shale will be an ongoing effort for our group, and our hope is to share this information with environmental regulators and the public who can then take further action in the Fayetteville Shale with our unending support.
Project Directors: Emily Lane, April Lane, Sam Lane
For information on the documentary film: EGL02001@uca.edu