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Hydraulic fracturing to extract shale oil or shale gas potentially threatens drinking water resources (mainly groundwater) with the contamination with chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Surface water contamination can occur if the wastewater, containing the chemical additives as well as saline water and naturally occurring heavy metals and radioactive materials from the shale formations, is not properly managed and treated (Umweltbundesamt, 2012). Based on the shale gas information platform by EC, the UK is the only country in Europe, where companies pursue hydraulic fracturing (which is haltered since 2019)([2]), whereas a ban in France and Bulgaria and tests in Poland occur ([3]). In Estonia, mines cover ca. 1 % of the whole territory and about 16 million tonnes of shale oil were extracted in 2012 with high impacts on waters ([4]).  

Mining accidents can have tremendous impacts to the aquatic environment, for example the spill of cyanide rich waste water in Baia Mare, Romania in 2000. After a dam brake in the retreatment plant of gold mining company, large number of fish were killed in the Somes River, and also Tisza River and Danube. Furthermore, drinking water resources were contaminated (UNEP/OCHA, 2000).   

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