Elizabeth Miller McCue
9 x 129 x 129
Invited by Curators Mary and Howard McCoy and Executive Director Eleanor Altman to create a site-specific installation for the Bi-Annual Outdoor Sculpture Invitational Artists in Dialogue with the Landscape for the Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD [Eastern Shores], No Fracking is a visual statement opposing the horizontal fracturing of our shale rock formations using over 750 toxic chemcials to extract natural gas in a highly unregulated industry.
Each frack in a well requires more than one million gallons of water. Although gas companies report that fracking fluid is 99 % water, the remaining 1% drilled into each well equates to a mixture of 300 tons of approximately 750 chemicals - many of them proprietary / “trade secret,” and many of them toxic such as benzene, methanol, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene, including metals such as barium, strontium and lead. According to experts, 93% of these chemicals have adverse health effects, 60% are known carcinogens and more than 40% are endocrine disrupters. The gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals used. In 2005 the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Water Drinking Act. It also exempted companies from disclosing the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing.
Toxic circles, undrinkable water issuing forth, do not approach or touch. X for contamination, X for condemnation, X for forever gone, X for what we have allowed to happen.
If fracking is defined as a single fracture of deep shale that action may be benign. When multiple fracts are done in multiple, adjacent wells, however, the risk for contaminating drinking water may rise. If fracking is defined as the entire industrial operation, including drilling and the storage of wastewater, contamination has already been found.