Landfarming : A contested space for the management of waste from oil and gas extraction

Bloomfield, Brian Peter and Doolin, Bill (2017) Landfarming : A contested space for the management of waste from oil and gas extraction. Environment and Planning A, 49 (11). pp. 2457-2476. ISSN 0308-518X

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The extraction of unconventional hydrocarbons, particularly through hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’), has generated both support and opposition in many countries around the globe. Along with arguments about economic benefits, decarbonisation, transition fuels and groundwater contamination etc., the rapid expansion of this industry presents a pressing problem as regards the disposal of the resultant waste – including drilling and cutting material, oil and gas residues, various chemicals used in the process, salts and produced water. One putative solution – ‘landfarming’ – is a disposal process that involves spreading oil and gas waste on to land and mixing it with topsoil to allow bioremediation of the hydrocarbons. This paper examines the case of landfarming in New Zealand where the practice has proved controversial due to its association with fracking, fears about the contamination of agricultural land and potential danger to milk supplies. Drawing upon Gieryn’s notion of cultural cartography and boundary work as well as the literature on the politics of scale it analyses the struggles for epistemic authority regarding the safety of landfarming. The case has wider implications in terms of the management of waste from non-conventional hydrocarbons as well as other environmental issues in which the politics of scale figure in contested knowledge claims.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environment and Planning A
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Environment and Planning A, 49 (11), 2017, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Environment and Planning A page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? boundary workcultural cartographyfrackinglandfarmingpolitics of scaleenvironmental science (miscellaneous)geography, planning and development ??
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Deposited On:
02 Jan 2018 10:58
Last Modified:
25 Apr 2024 01:50