SETAC North America Focused Topic Meeting

Environmental Quality Implications of Unconventional Natural Gas Development

The unconventional production of natural gas has been the subject of much speculation over the potential or real environmental consequences. Some of this controversy has been embedded in a much larger question regarding the role of fossil fuels in various forms toward America’s energy mix. SETAC North America is organizing this focused topic meeting to present the latest scientific findings and provide a neutral forum for information exchange in five areas:

  • Environmental fate assessment of fracturing fluids
  • Chemical hazard assessment of fracturing fluids
  • Environmental risks to water resources
  • Environmental risks to land resources
  • Environmental risks of produced water for beneficial reuse

Hear from renowned speakers about ongoing research efforts to develop an understanding of the risks of natural gas development to ecosystems and global environmental systems. Many of these broader issues do not grab the headlines but ultimately may be more environmentally significant to the development of these natural resources than those the public reads about nearly every day.

The format of the meeting is such that over the two day period, attendees will have ample opportunity to ask questions and provide a forum for stakeholder engagement. The organizers hope to be able to use this engagement process to spotlight research questions that need answering and to differentiate what the scientific issues are surrounding these technologies and practices from those that are not.

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