Non-profit launches oil and gas tracking app

FracTracker Alliance has announced the release of its free iPhone app which is designed to gather and share experiences related to oil and gas drilling across the United States.

Innovation can be seen across the oil and gas industry, and with increasing activity in unconventional drilling across the nation, FracTracker is offering a novel way for citizens to track, monitor, and report possible concerns directly from their smart phones. The app gives its users the ability to submit reports and photos about oil and gas activity. Users will also be able to view maps of the various wells drilled nearby and also the user submitted reports. The app also displays the locations of both conventional and unconventional wells.

FracTracker Alliance is a non-profit organization that shares maps, data, and analyses in order to better communicate the impacts of the global oil and gas industry by providing its users with information necessary to make knowledgeable decisions that will positively shape the future of energy development. The organization has offices in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia and California.

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

A variety of community groups and organizations were involved to help with testing and improving the app. In order to properly address the impacts in various locations, FracTracker teamed up with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) to develop a crowd-sourced digital map which details the scope of oil and gas development surrounding North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Using photos to map the impacts, the NPCA is using the campaign to educate citizens about the oil and gas development nearby national parks.

Nick Lund, manager of the NPCA’s Landscape Conservation program, said the “new app allows us to tell a visual story about fracking’s impacts to national parks and their local communities.” This coming week, the organization is holding two events, one in Pittsburgh and the other in Philadelphia, to support the campaign. Lund said, “With this week’s public events … we will show the dramatic impact that fracking continues to have, in just a few years, near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. These images can help inform the public and our elected officials as they finalize drilling regulations in Pennsylvania. We hope this information will lead to strong protections for our national parks, our forests, and our drinking water.”

The app is currently only available for iPhone users, though an Android based platform is due for release later this year. Download the free app from the iTunes store or visit FracTracker.org to learn more.

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