Monday, December 18, 2017

EPA releases report on impact of fracking on drinking water

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report on Thursday on the effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which found that the practice has not negatively impacted drinking water, but that water lifecycle vulnerabilities have the potential to do so.

“EPA’s draft assessment will give state regulators, tribes and local communities, and industry around the country a critical resource to identify how best to protect public health and their drinking water resources,” EPA Office of Research and Development Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator Thomas A. Burke said. “It is the most complete compilation of scientific data to date, including over 950 sources of information, published papers, numerous technical reports, information from stakeholders and peer-reviewed EPA scientific reports.”

The report was undertaken at the request of Congress and follows the water used throughout the process, from its sourcing to its treatment as wastewater. While there were some instances of hydraulic fracturing impacting drinking water, they were rare and not typical of the process.

The EPA did identify vulnerabilities that could see hydraulic fracturing affect the nation’s water resources. Chief among them is the potential for water withdrawals in areas with low water availability. The report also mentioned inadequate casing of wells and inadequately treated wastewater.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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