Friday, June 05, 2015

Fracking tech has no 'widespread' impacts on drinking water

A technique used to boost oil and gas production, known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, has not led to "widespread, systemic impacts" on drinking water resources in the United States, the country's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday.

A draft report from the EPA, done at the request of Congress, however, found fracking does have the potential to contaminate drinking water.

It revealed several vulnerabilities to drinking water resources, including water withdrawals in dry areas, inadequately cased or cemented wells resulting in a below-ground leak of gases and liquids, discharges of inadequately treated wastewater, and spills of hydraulic fluids and wastewater.

But the number of identified cases was "small" compared to the number of fracked wells, the EPA said.

Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals deep underground to crack open hydrocarbon-rich shale and extract oil and gas. Since the early 2000s, this technology has led to a surge in U.S. oil and gas production, but it also fueled concerns about contamination in nearby drinking water supplies.

Thomas Burke, deputy assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development, said in a statement that the draft assessment will give state regulators, tribe's and local communities and industry in the country a critical resource to identify how best to protect public health and their drinking water resources.

"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," Burke added. 

  Xinhua -

1 comment:

  1. Long-Awaited EPA Study Says Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water...

    In 2010, Congress commissioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the impact of fracking on drinking water. The U.S. EPA released its long-awaited final draft of its report today, assessing how fracking for oil and gas can impact access to safe drinking water. The report refuted the conclusion arrived at by the U.S. EPA’s 2004 study that fracking poses no threat to drinking water, a conclusion used to exempt the fracking process from the Safe Drinking Water Act................


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