What is Hydraulic Fracturing?

Typically, hydraulic fracturing involves high-pressure injection of fluids and sand to fracture rock formations, prop the fractures open with sand, to enable more oil or gas to flow to the well.

After fracturing, some of the fluids remain stranded underground. These fluids may include hazardous chemicals such as biocides, diesel fuel, acids, metals, ethylene glycol, corrosion inhibitors, and other chemicals.

Hydraulic fracturing often occurs just after a well has been drilled, although many wells are re-fractured one or more times after a well goes into production.


The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of 1974 was established to protect the quality of drinking water in the United States.  This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources. 

The SDWA was amended through the comprehensive Energy Policy Act in 2005.  During that process, Hydraulic Fracturing operations were completely exempted from regulation under the SDWA.  The oil and gas industry is currently exempt from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, even though Americans get half of their fresh drinking water from underground sources.

Nondisclosure: What is in Hydraulic Fracturing fluids and where do they go?

  • A single frack job utilizes tens of thousands of pounds of chemicals.
  • Drilling can take place directly in our drinking water aquifers.
  • Even when drilling is taking place beneath drinking water aquifers, fracturing is often unpredictable and uncontrollable which may open up pathways for fluids or gases from other geologic layers to flow where they are not intended.
  • The practice of hydraulic fracturing can also impact our drinking water supply through leaks, spills and releases on the surface.
  • Please help lift the SDWA exemption for fracturing, require full chemical disclosure, and work towards non-toxic products to protect Wyoming's drinking water.