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Posted on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

University of Michigan researchers to brief state officials on fracking Tuesday

By Amy Biolchini

Scientists from the University of Michigan will be speaking before Michigan officials and politicians Tuesday in Lansing on a hydraulic fracturing impact study they’re conducting.

The study will evaluate the potential effects on people and the environment that the controversial practice could have in Michigan.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is an industry practice used to extract fossil fuels from the ground. A classified mix of chemicals, sand and water is pumped deep into the ground at high pressures to fracture thin barriers of rock in between pockets of natural gas or oil.

Invited to attend are the members of the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives, state officials, industry representatives, researchers and individuals from non-governmental organizations.

Though the public cannot attend the 1:30 p.m. briefing, which will be at the Radisson Hotel Lansing, a live stream of the event is accessible online. Pre-registration for the live stream is required.

The two-year research project was announced in November, when Gov. Rick Snyder said the state would be partnering with the U-M researchers on the study.

Findings of technical reports in the study will be announced in June, and the final draft of the research project will be presented publicly in mid-2014.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 6:15 a.m.

Fracking should have minimal effect on those of us who drink water from municipal water supplies.


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

This is true, however, your water comes from the river, and is more susceptible to surface contamination of the produced water coming back up from the initial well bore.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

Fracking is definitely a questionable practice and has the potential to severely impact the environment and the most precious of all resources..... the WATER TABLE. If the procedure is done correctly, it poses a minimal footprint of environmental damage. However, if things go wrong, they go very wrong...and then ensues the legal battle, of denying that contamination was caused by fracking. If a farmers water has been good for generations, a NG well goes in then it goes bad after fracking, oil CO's wil deny deny deny deny deny....more environmental regulation is needed very very soon.

Tyrone Shoelaces

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

The primary chemical used in fracking is dihydrogen monoxide. The dangers of this chemical are described here:


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

Nice.....H2o! lol.

Janet Hawkins

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Nick Schroeck, executive director at the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center will discuss fracking and other issues regarding Great Lakes water rights and conservation on Thursday, March 14, from 6:00-7:00pm in room 202 of the Great Lakes Regional Training Center at Washtenaw Community College. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more about it at

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

Hey my water is on fire!


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

Nothing to do with fracking, and everyone should know this if the free press actually did there job.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

Dog Guy You must have taken a photo of that. Could you share it?Or was that before the invention of the camera? I know it CAN happen,I would have documented it.

Dog Guy

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Well water in SE Michigan commonly has natural gas in it. When city cousins from DEEtroit visited us, I would turn on the kitchen tap until it was barely spitting water and light a bushel of flame that continued until Mom screamed. Occasionally I would run a garden hose from the top of a cold-water tank to an iron-pipe torch to burn out stumps. Michigan water and natural gas have been friendly for eons, but I have some doubts about that fracking fluid.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

Will it be possible to see the presentation afterwards?

Milton Shift

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 6:34 a.m.

"Science: Thanks For The Nukes, Now Go Away." -- Stephen Colbert


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 3:15 a.m.

Yes, the UM has every reason to lie to us about the effects of fracking, just like they did on the Polio vaccine 60 years ago. Maybe it's about the lies that 3000 Scientists are telling us about Global Warming?


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 2:10 a.m.

I have no idea what the study will say. But I find it amusing that when any study done by the U of M, is usually met with high praise around here. But if this study says there are no serious issues, those same people that extol the mighty U of M will be crying foul.

West Park

Mon, Mar 4, 2013 : 11:07 p.m.

Possible Chemicals used;

David Briegel

Mon, Mar 4, 2013 : 10:55 p.m.

I can't wait for them to tell us how these chemicals used are just wonderful for us humans!

West Park

Mon, Mar 4, 2013 : 10:43 p.m.

NO Fracking in Michigan. Fracking pollutes drinking water with nasty chemicals.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

Can you cite a single instance where drinking water has been contaminated? The EPA can't!


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

Frack, Frack and more fracking please.