Fracking and Obnoxious Odors

One of the most overlooked medical issues involved with property owners living in close proximity to fracking activities is the ongoing and very chronic obnoxious odors that can emanate. As one article describes, “People living near a Canadian energy company’s exploratory gas-drilling site in east Yorkshire have complained to the Environment Agency about feeling sick from noxious smells.” As one property owner describes, “The smell is hideous, very distinctive, pungent and nauseous. It comes in waves. It started last week and has continued since. It fades in and out. The area where they are drilling is very rural and the smell drifts easily a mile away. . . Depending on the wind, it has at times reached villages like West Newton and Withernwick.” Property owners have also complained about gas flaring and light pollution from the round-the-clock operation.

Although most fracking companies dispute that natural gas drilling may produce obnoxious odors, there is increasing evidence that the smells originate from fracking waste-water. Similar complaints have been noted from property owners in a Colorado town, where “a fracking wastewater disposal site near Whitewater is causing a big stink [and] neighbors in the area complain of a horrible odor from the plant, and say they have been battling with it for two years to no avail. . . The smell, they say, is coming from fracking wastewater that is brought to the Deer Creek Disposal site to sit and evaporate [and] neighbors complain that the smell is of chemicals and metal that they can even taste sometimes.”

In such situations, property owners find that in order to preserve their quality of life, including the use and enjoyment of their property, they are not able to keep their doors or windows open, cannot spend significant time outside, or even run their air conditioning units for fear of bringing smells into the home. As one property owner has described, “We can’t even sit there in the evenings when it’s hot and have our door open without being just smothered, literally smothered by the smell.” Other property owners also complain of the onset of significant medical conditions from such smells including bloody noses, headaches, and nausea.

Let our Attorneys Help You Today

If you or someone you know has suffered personal harm, medical issues, or other property damage as a result of fracking, you need attorneys with experience in such personal injury matters. Colombo Law is highly experienced in such matters and can evaluate your potential legal claims on your behalf.


by Colombo Law
Last updated on - Originally published on