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What is hydrofracking?  It's a process by which natural gas is extracted from shale rock deep within shale formations using a lot of water, chemicals and an electric shock to break up the rock. Many other states where hydrofracking exists have experienced drinking well contamination, contaminated streams and private property damage.  Check out this fact sheet.


Is it going on in Tennessee?  A process called nitrogen fracking happens in Tennessee. TDEC calls it "dry" fracking but it uses 2 - 4 tankers of water per well according to Jonathan Burr, TDEC employee.  If it uses water, its hydrofracking.  Injecting nitrogen and water into a gas well in karst geology is bad.  Its bad for ground water, drinking water and surface water.  Where are these companies going to get the water? Probably the local stream.


Why doesn't the state protect us from this?   At first the State thought they did not have the right to regulate hydrofracking.  They realized that they do, but refused to do it in this round of rulemaking. Furthermore, the oil and gas industry are exempt from the federal Clean Water Act, federal Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation Recovery Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act via the Haliburton Exemption in all these acts. The ultimate solution is to reverse the loophole in Federal Legislation.


What can you do about it?  You can write letters to the editor. You can join a group working on the issue. You can volunteer to help with permit review and monitoring. Feel free to call me at 865.522.7007x 100 or email me at [email protected]


Every state that has had hydrofracking activities has experienced contaminated wells, flammable drinking water, and noise pollution.  Why do we think Tennessee will be any different?  Heck, even Arkansas has disclosure regulations!


Since the State adopted regulations which do not require the notification of Tennesseans when fracking is being done in their communities unless it is a huge well, TCWN is compiling an on-going list of fracking permits the state issued. Check out what permits have been issued in your area.


Some resources for further study.

EPA powerpoint on hydrofracking




EPA Hydrofracking Report1.37 MB
Tennessee Hydrofracking Review194.91 KB
Global Enviro Report Final494.11 KB
Hydrofracking in Tennessee33 KB
Oil and Gas Rules444.54 KB
2012-2013 Oil & Gas Permits Issued23.23 KB

Tennessee Clean Water Network

625 Market St.

Knoxville, TN 37902


Mailing Address:

PO BOX 1521

Knoxville, TN 37901


Office: 865.522.7007

Fax: 865.525.4988