BOULDER – The University of Colorado Boulder has won a $12 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to study how to maximize benefits of natural-gas development while minimizing harms.
Professor Joseph Ryan of CU-Boulder’s civil, environmental and architectural engineering department will lead a team of air- and water-quality experts, social scientists, health experts and information-technology experts. They will examine the social, ecological and economic aspects of natural-gas development and the protection of water and air.
The team will be advised by a committee of industry, regulatory, environmental, governmental, academic and tribal representatives.
Ryan says part of the team’s work will include reviewing industry practices for hydraulic fracturing, a process that involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals into rock to free natural gas and oil.