(Another excellent glossary with more specifics can be found at OSHA website: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/oilandgas/glossary_of_terms/glossary_of_terms_a.html )

Best Management Practices (BMP)–best practice is a method, process, activity, incentive, or reward which conventional wisdom regards as more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. when applied to a particular condition or circumstance.(1)

Blowout—the uncontrolled release of crude oil and/or natural gas from an oil or gas well after pressure control systems have failed.(1)

Coal Bed Methane–is a form of natural gas extracted from coal beds. The methane is in a nearliquid state, lining the inside of pores within the coal (called the matrix). The open fractures in the coal (called the cleats) can also contain free gas or can be saturated with water.(1)

Downhole–denoting any piece of equipment that is used in the well bore itself.(1)

DMME – Virginia Dept. of Mines Minerals and Energy – Virginia regulatory agency responsible for hydraulic fracturing. https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/

Drilling mud–is a fluid of various components used to aid the drilling of boreholes into the earth.(1)

EIA—The U.S. Energy Information Administration collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. It is a Federal Government agency http://www.eia.gov/ (1)

Flowback –the water based solution that flows back to the surface during and after the completion of hydraulic fracturing. It consists of the fluid used to fracture the shale. The fluid contains clays, chemical additives, dissolved metal ions and total dissolved solids (TDS). The water has a murky appearance from high levels of suspended particles. Most of the flowback occurs in the first seven to ten days while the rest can occur over a three to four week time period. The volume of recovery is anywhere between 20% and 40% of the volume that was initially injected into the well. The rest of the fluid remains absorbed in the shale formation.* See Produced Water.(1)

Fracking/Hydraulic Fracturing – Fracking involves high-pressure injections of water, chemicals and sand into rock formations, which opens cracks that enable trapped gas/oil to flow.(1)

Fracking and Associated Processes Recommended by LWV Colorado ad the phrase to use when discussing Fracking in a study. This phrase covers all aspect of the Fracking process:site selection, site preparation, well drillng, extraction, transportation of product, types of fluids injected, safely deal with the waste products, closing of the well, and all cleanup that is required when the well is closed and the land restored.

Groundwater—water that is located below the surface in pockets, aquifers, underground rivers, etc.(1)

Induced Fractures—fractures in subsurface rock strata caused by stress from the drilling equipment or other pressures during the drilling process.(1)

Injection Wells—a vertical pipe in the ground into which water, other liquids, or gases are pumped or allowed to flow. Deep wells used worldwide to dump contaminants, often suspended in water, so that they are more or less permanently sequestered below the aquifer. Injection wells are used by many industries.(1)

MSDS–Material Safety Data Sheet— provides workers and emergency personnel with procedures for handling or working with that substance in a safe manner, and includes information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill-handling procedures.(1)

NEPA—the National Environmental Policy Act’s basic policy is to assure that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that could significantly affect the environment.(1)

NETL—the National Energy Technology Laboratory is a science, technology, and energy laboratory owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Energy.(1)

Nontributary aquifer—water geologically and hydrologically distinct from the state’s surface streams, sometimes called deep aquifers. Ownership is based on who owns the overlying land so is not part of the state’s priority system.(1)

Produced Water—naturally occurring water found in shale formations that flows to the surface throughout the entire lifespan of the gas well. This water has high levels of TDS and leaches out minerals from the shale including barium, calcium, iron and magnesium. It also contains dissolved hydrocarbons such as methane, ethane and propane along with naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) such as radium isotopes. *See Flowback(1)

Proppant—a chemical or very small particle like sand which will hold a fractured shale open for oil or gas to migrate to the well.(1)

Proprietary—Information or a product that is owned exclusively by a single company that carefully guards knowledge about the technology or the product’s inner workings or makeup. i.e.Trade Secret(1)

RCRA—the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act gives EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the “cradle-to-grave.” This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous solid wastes.(1)

Shale, Shale Gas— Shale gas refers to natural gas that is trapped within shale formations. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks that can be rich sources of petroleum and natural gas. Over the past decade, the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has allowed access to large volumes of shale gas that were previously uneconomical to produce. The production of natural gas from shale formations has rejuvenated the natural gas industry in the United States. (EIA Energy in Brief)(1)

Target Formation—the location of the oil/gas formation that the well is aiming to hit to recover oil or gas.(1)

TDS—Total Dissolved Solids is a measure of the combined content of all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid in: molecular, ionized or micro-granular (colloidal sol) suspended form. The principal application of TDS is in the study of water quality for streams,rivers and lakes. Although TDS is not generally considered a primary pollutant (e.g. it is not deemed to be associated with health effects), it is used as an indication of aesthetic characteristics of drinking water and as an aggregate indicator of the presence of a broad array of chemical contaminants.(1)

Tidewater Virginia – Defined by Article 2.5. Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. Please note that the “Tidewater Region of Virginia” is defined differently by different groups. A discription of the most common of these can be found at http://www.virginiaplaces.org/chesbay/11chesa.html

“Tidewater Virginia” means the following jurisdictions:

The Counties of Accomack, Arlington, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Gloucester, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Surry, Westmoreland, and York, and the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Hampton, Hopewell, Newport News, Norfolk, Petersburg, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Richmond, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.


(1) LWVCO Hydraulic Fracturing Study Glossary -8/30/12