On October 8, Environment Virginia, American Hiking Society and Potomac Riverkeeper will release a new report that quantifies the damage already done across the country by the dirty drilling technique known as “fracking” (high volume hydraulic fracturing).

This report is being released in advance of the U.S. Forest Service’s decision whether or not to open up the George Washington National Forest to fracking, which it is expected to make this fall. As the largest and most intact national forest in the east, the George Washington plays a special environmental, recreational and economic role in the mid-Atlantic region. Currently, there is no gas drilling in the George Washington, yet the Forest Service is weighing whether to open up the forest to horizontal natural gas drilling, which is described by the Southern Environmental Law Center as the most destructive form of fracking.

The organizations will release the findings of the report, including the total wastewater produced, fresh water used and landscapes degraded as a result of fracking. They will discuss the impact fracking could have on the natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities in the George Washington, enjoyed by over a million visitors each year, as well as the risk to the Potomac’s watershed.

Concerned citizens are encouraged to attend the report’s release, which will take place on the banks of the Potomac River at Founders Park in Alexandria, VA, at 11 AM on Tuesday, October 8. Speakers at the event include: Sarah Bucci, Campaign Director, Environment Virginia; Gregory Miller, President, American Hiking Society; and Robin Broder, Vice President, Potomac Riverkeeper.