Hydraulic fracturing -- orr fracking -- uses water and chemicals to break up shale underground to access natural gas and oil.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WZZM) - The University of Michigan is taking on the issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
WZZM 13 took a closer look at the process in February for a 13 On Your Side special report.
Fracking extracts natural gas by pumping water and chemicals into the ground as a way to release natural gas. The controversial process has been used in Michigan for decades but is becoming more common.
The University of Michigan research group conducting the study, consists of professors from areas like economics, geology, and human health.
"I think the main issue is the volume of water needed for activity and what do you do with the water after the process is complete. It has to be disposed of. In other state's it's been a problem," explains John Callewaert of the Graham Institute.
13 On Your Side traveled to a town in Pennsylvania where there have been spills in the past. The Michigan study will analyze current data and is expected to be complete next year.