Mobile App Helps Improve Transparency of Unconventional Drilling

FracTracker’s free mobile app gives users the power 
to share the impact of fracking

As New York State’s decision to ban high volume hydraulic fracturing continues the conversation on the dangers of fracking to the environment, the public is actively moving forward in recording and sharing the effects of drilling throughout the United States.

The FracTracker Alliance, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase transparency of, and access to, data and information relating to unconventional oil and natural gas development, has created a free mobile app to accomplish just that. The FracTracker app is designed to give users the ability to “Share a Shot,” or submit photos of oil and gas production, “Report an Issue,” regarding near-by drilling and “Check the Map,” to view an interactive interface of oil and gas wells drilled in your area.

According to FracTracker’s “Pennsylvania Shale Viewer” map, there have been 1,365 wells drilled in 2014, all of which can be seen on the app. The map has several data layers where you can click and see the sites that have received violations such as “the failure to contain a pollutional substance in a lined pit or tank” and “potential pollution to waters of commonwealth” as well as the location of drilled unconventional wells and areas that were approved for permits.

“FracTracker’s app contributes to the collective understanding of oil and gas impacts and provides a new opportunity for public engagement,” says Brook Lenker, Executive Director of the FracTracker Alliance. “We hope that our mobile app will revolutionize how people share oil and gas information.”

This map, along with others, such as the “The PA Beer and Unconventional Drilling Map” that shows drilled and permitted wells and their proximity to breweries and brewpubs throughout Pennsylvania, can be seen and shared with the FracTracker app with just a few swipes on your smartphone.

The FracTracker app is available for iPhones and Androids and can be downloaded at fractracker.org/apps.