Thursday, June 4, 2015

EPA: Fracking doesn't systemically pollute water

From the Washington Examiner:
In a victory for the oil and gas industry, the Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited draft study Thursday that said the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, doesn't systemically pollute drinking water.

The EPA acknowledged specific instances of groundwater pollution from fracking, but ultimately said the draft study showed the threat is not endemic.

"We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The number of identified cases, however, was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured well," the EPA report said.

Fracking, with the advent of horizontal drilling, has unleashed the U.S. shale oil and natural gas boom, turning the country into the world's largest hydrocarbon producer. But the method, which involves injecting a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals into tight-rock formations to access oil and gas buried deep underground, has raised fears of water pollution.

The draft of the five-year-long study is sure to please drillers who had criticized previous agency findings regarding the drilling practice.
HT: Erin Ryan.

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