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EPA Updates Progress on Hydraulic Fracturing Study

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today provided an update on its ongoing national study currently underway to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Results of the study, which Congress requested EPA to complete, are expected to be released in a draft for public and peer review in 2014. The update provided today outlines work currently underway, including the status of research projects that will inform the final study. It is important to note that while this progress report outlines the framework for the final study, it does not draw conclusions about the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, which will be made in the final study.

As the administration and EPA has made clear, natural gas has a central role to play in our energy future, and this important domestic fuel source has extensive economic, energy security, and environmental benefits. The study EPA is currently undertaking is part of EPA’s focus to ensure that as the Administration continues to work to expand production of this important domestic resource safely and responsibly.

Among the information released today are updates on 18 research projects and details on the agency’s research approach as well as next steps for these ongoing projects and analyses. Today’s update follows the public release, in November 2011, of the agency’s final study plan, which underwent scientific peer review and public comment.

EPA has engaged stakeholders, including industry, to ensure that the study reflects current practices in hydraulic fracturing. EPA continues to request data and information from the public and stakeholders and has put out a formal request for information which can be accessed through the Federal Register.

EPA also expects to release a draft report of results from the study in late 2014. The study has been designated a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment, meaning it will receive the highest level of peer review in accordance with EPA’s peer review handbook before it is finalized. The 2014 draft report will synthesize the results from the ongoing projects together with the scientific literature to answer the study’s main research questions.

EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) is forming a panel of independent experts which will review and provide their individual input on the ongoing study to EPA. The SAB will provide an opportunity for the public to offer comments for consideration by the individual panel members.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Post a Comment Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
B Mitchell | Dec. 24, 2012
R, Weve been fracing for over 60 years, so dont confuse fracing with natural well water contamination. I work on drilling surface sections all over the country and without reservation I can say that the entire industry is focused on protecting ground water resources. We drink water too and we dont have some secret oilfield only stash. The 21st century oil patch is doing a lot of things right that well never get credit for. R, Id just recommend balancing your information sources, dont rely on any one side for all of your info. One good source to check out is "Groundwater and Wells" by Johnson well screens to better understand the geology and hydrology of water sources (get a copy of the first edition if you can, minimally dated and very well written).

R Wilson | Dec. 21, 2012
in 2014, it might be to late to correct the faults of fracing and the contamination of underground well water. Why so long?



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