VERIFY: Does fracking cause sinkholes?

We investigate whether sinkholes are linked to fracking.

As we streamed video of that massive sinkhole live on Facebook a few of you mentioned fracking.

"We don't need to damage our environment with fracking," the comments read. "Another reason no fracking." "Is this from all the fracking?"

We wanted to answer that -- and verify if fracking can create sinkholes.

First -- let's talk about fracking. Hydraulic fracturing is a drilling process that uses a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to get oil or natural gas from shale rock. Fracking refers to how the rocks fractures from the high-pressure mixture.

Fracking doesn't really happen in the state of Florida, although drilling does. In fact, I went through recent drilling permits issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Each permit says no hydraulic fracturing is going on.

I also talked with Taylor Yarkosky -- he's called the Sinkhole Guy and is an expert. He's a contractor not an engineer. but I asked him if fracking or even drilling can cause sinkholes.

He said he doesn't believe there's enough information to make that statement." 

He was clear to say drilling won't create a sinkhole -- it's already there, but he believes common sense says that fracking even drilling can accelerate the catastrophic collapse.

So we can verify this as FALSE -- fracking does not create sinkholes. However it could cause them to open.

I want to be clear: there are no current oil or gas wells or fracking in Land O' Lakes.

 

SOURCES:

Taylor Yarkosky

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

 

Help VERIFY

Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment