Scientists Challenge EPA Franking Report

The EPA finds itself at odds with the Science Advisory Board regarding a report the agency released last summer stating that fracking does not lead to nor create widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.

The board is comprised of scientists who advise the Environmental Protection Agency and they sent a letter to the EPA questioning the findings released last June.

“The statement is ambiguous and requires clarification and additional explanation,” stated the letter sent to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the EPA. The report estimated frackers use an average of 9,100 gallons worth of chemicals per well.

The scientists are asking the EPA to carry out a more thorough evaluation of potential water well contamination in three locations. One is Parker County, Texas. Another is Pavillion, Wyoming and the third is Dimock, Pennsylvania.

The Board contends the fracking activities near those three locations “are perceived by many members of the public to have caused significant local impacts to drinking water resources.”

The letter by the Science Advisory Board drew support from Wenonah Hauter who is executive director of the Food and Water Watch advocacy group.

“There was a clear disconnect between the EPA’s top-line spin, that there was no evidence of ‘widespread, systemic’ impacts on drinking water from fracking—and the content of the actual study which highlights data limitations, open questions and clear evidence of local and severe impacts.”

She’s happy the board is calling on the Obama administration to address what she called “numerous high-profile cases of fracking contamination inexplicably left out of the study.”

The scientists also raised another issue regarding the EPA’s fracking study and that is distinguishing which chemicals are injected into a well and which chemicals and compounds flush back up through the well during and after fracking.


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