Duke University, and the non-profit research organization Resources for the Future recently conducted a study on the effects of homeowner property values located near a shale gas well, where hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) is occurring.
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a process natural gas is extracted from porous shale rock by injecting a mixture of sand, water and chemicals into the rock to release the natural gas. One problem with this procedure is that we do not know what chemicals are used in the process, and as the laws currently stand, companies can call the information about the chemicals used "proprietary" and not disclose them. There is a possibility that the chemicals could get into the water table, harming the water supply. This process is currently regulated by states, many under railroad legislation! Federal Legislatures are pushing to bring regulation of fracking under the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act.
In a report on the study by The Observer-Dispatch, property owners who use local groundwater for drinking lost up to 24% of their property value if they live within a mile and a quarter of a shale gas well. This study is among the first attempts to measure the impact of fracking to the property owner.