The fracking extraction process is used in
several states, including Texas, New York,
Virginia, Ohio, Wyoming,
California, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan,
Montana and Arkansas.
Articles in the
Drilling Down series from The New York Times examine
the risks of natural-gas drilling and efforts to regulate this
rapidly growing industry.
EPA Releases Update on
Ongoing Hydraulic Fracturing Study
WASHINGTON - 21 December 2012 - 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
The study EPA is currently
undertaking is part of EPA’s focus to ensure that 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
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.
For more information on the