Date of Graduation

Spring 5-22-2015

Document Type

Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Environmental Management

First Advisor

Kathleen Jennings

Second Advisor

Maggie Winslow

Third Advisor

John Callaway

Abstract

The use of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) in the hydraulic fracturing process increases the complexity of a polarizing topic. Many stakeholders see a potential to provide relief to multiple environmental problems while others see it as another threat to the Pennsylvania water supply so many parties depend on. This research will evaluate data from Pennsylvania state agencies and additional academic research regarding AMD and fracking to assess potential benefits, risks, and complications for Pennsylvania watersheds when using AMD in the fracking process.

Chapter 1 presents background information on energy demand and hydraulic fracturing, as well as energy sources and industrial impacts within the state of Pennsylvania. Chapter 2 presents the background information on hydraulic fracturing and water sources to support the fracturing operations. Chapter 3 discusses the properties of acid mine drainage and its potential use as water supply for hydraulic fracturing. Chapter 4 discusses the use of acid mine drainage in the hydraulic fracturing operations in Pennsylvania. Chapter 5 presents research benefits, risks, challenges, conclusions and recommendations.