US EPA suddenly delays fracking study on risks to groundwater two years until 2016

EPA delays fracking safety study until 2016 by John Upton, June 24, 2013, The Grist
We told you last week that the EPA is abandoning an investigation that linked fracking chemicals with groundwater contamination in Wyoming. Amid controversy over that move, news about EPA delaying another fracking study got overlooked by most media. In 2010, Congress ordered the EPA to look into the dangers posed to drinking water sources by hydraulic fracturing. That research was expected to be completed in 2014. But last Tuesday, an EPA official told attendees of a shale-gas conference in Cleveland, Ohio, that it wouldn’t be done until 2016.

The news follows an April announcement made by the EPA in the Federal Register that it was giving the public an extra six and a half months to submit information that could inform the agency’s study. It’s nice that EPA is trying to be thorough with its research and is giving citizens more of a chance to contribute to the process. But considering how quickly fracking is spreading around the country, three more years is a long time to wait. [Emphasis added]

Fed: fracking study won’t be done until 2016 by The Associated Press, June 19, 2013,
Briskin said the EPA has sampled water in two drilling counties in Pennsylvania, plus in Colorado, North Dakota and Texas. Nine energy companies and nine drilling-supply companies have cooperated with the EPA research, she said, and 1,000 chemicals have been identified as being used in the drilling process.

EPA study on fracking threat to water will take years by Bob Downing, June 18, 2013, Beacon Journal
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is analyzing the threat that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, poses to drinking water, but that study won’t be completed until 2016. That assessment came Tuesday from Jeanne Briskin, coordinator of hydraulic fracturing research at the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. She was among the speakers at “Shale Gas: Promises and Challenges,” a two-day conference staged by the National Academy of Engineering, held in Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State and Kent State universities sponsored the conference, which attracted 850 people Tuesday. Briskin said the EPA probably would complete and release a preliminary report in late 2014. It is “complex research,” she said. In 2010, Congress directed the agency to investigate the threat to groundwater and air from hydraulic fracturing in Ohio and other states. Briskin outlined what her agency has done so far and the work that still must be completed. It is sampling water in two drilling counties in Pennsylvania plus in Colorado, North Dakota and Texas. Nine energy companies and nine drilling-supply companies have cooperated with the EPA research, and 1,000 chemicals have been identified as being used in the fracking process, Briskin said. Stanford University professor Mark Zoback expressed concern over injection wells that are used in Ohio and other states for disposal of liquid drilling wastes. He said drillers are injecting “too much water too fast,” and that’s increasing underground pressure that can, in some cases, trigger small earthquakes, like those that hit Youngstown in late 2011. … He said the fracking process is little understood, calling it “a very complex phenomena.” … The biggest problem that energy companies face: “It’s well construction, well construction, well construction. Do it properly,” Zoback said. Drilling is a process that absolutely can be done safely, but it is not always done that way, he said. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

Water Contamination from Fracking: Jessica Ernst Releases Groundbreaking Report by Damien Gillis, The Common Sense Canadian

Contamination of North America’s Groundwater from Fracking (Hydraulic Fracturing) Revealed in a New Case History Catalogue Press Release by BC Tap Water Alliance, June 16, 2013

Brief review of threats to Canada’s groundwater from the oil and gas industry’s methane migration and hydraulic fracturing Released June 16, 2013 ]

This entry was posted in Global Frac News. Bookmark the permalink.