EPA focuses on fracking – picks sites to study

27 Jun 2011

I’ve blogged previously about fracking and the controversy it has spurred and the Michigan response thus far. The U.S. EPA announced at the end of last week the next steps in its Congressionally mandated hydraulic fracturing study. EPA has identified 7 case studies to help assess hydraulic fracturing’s potential impacts on drinking water resources. The EPA will begin field work this summer. 

The studies, which will take place in regions across the country, will fall into two groups. Two of the seven sites were selected as prospective case studies, where EPA will monitor key aspects of the hydraulic fracturing process throughout the lifecycle of wells in Louisiana and Pennsylvania.  Five retrospective sites were picked where EPA will examine past hydraulic fracturing for impacts on drinking water resources in North Dakota, Texas, Pennsylvania and Colorado.


EPA has published a 126 page plan for the study which is limited to groundwater impacts and not air or soil stability – with preliminary results expected early in 2012 and final conclusions expected in 2014. I don’t expect the controversy to die down by then as more and more people claim all manner of problems stemming from hydraulically fractured wells.


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