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North Dakota and Fracking

Frack Target: Bakken Formation

Water Resources at Risk: Williston Basin, including Lake Sakakawea, Missouri River, White Earth River, Little Muddy River, Little Missouri River and others

Gas development has skyrocketed in recent years in North Dakota, causing the state to surpass Alaska in oil production. This oil rush has had a negative impact on both environment and community resources. In 2011 alone, North Dakota reported more than 1,000 accidental releases of oil, drilling wastewater or other fluids; though many more releases went unreported when companies illegally dumped toxic fluid. Of these spills, in about two-thirds of cases, material was not contained to the accident site and leaked into the ground or waterways. On the home front, farmers are impacted when spills, some as large as 24 acres, destroy cropland possibly for decades to come. Ranchers are worried that local water supplies affected by fracking waste have had a noticeable effect on the health of their livestock and animals. Additionally, the oil boom has strained local resources, drove housing prices up, and disrupted rural communities.

Below is a map of some of the high profile incidents ("fraccidents") related to the country's gas drilling boom that have already occurred in North Dakota. Click on any fraccident to learn more.

View Fraccidents Map in a larger map

View other states affected by fracking:

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