EPA’s New Fracking Study: A Close Look at the Numbers Buried in the Fine Print

27 Jun 2015   Shale Oil, Water

When EPA’s long-awaited draft assessment on fracking and drinking water supplies was released, the oil and gas industry triumphantly focused on a headline-making sentence: “We did not find evidence of widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” But for fracking’s backers, a sense of victory may prove to be fleeting. EPA’s draft assessment made one thing clear: fracking has repeatedly contaminated drinking water supplies (a fact that the industry has long aggressively denied). Indeed, the federal government’s recognition that fracking can contaminate drinking water supplies may prove to have opened the floodgates, especially since EPA called attention to major gaps in the official record, due in part to gag orders for landowners who settle contamination claims and in part because there simply hasn’t been enough testing to know how widespread problems have become. And although it’s been less than a month since EPA’s draft assessment […]

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