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USEPA Releases Update on Hydraulic Fracturing Study

EPA The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has released an update to the methodology being used for its national study on hydraulic fracturing. The USEPA's goal is to better understand any potential impacts of the practice, commonly known as fracking, on drinking water resources. Fracking stimulates production from oil wells and aids in the recovery of oil and natural gas from coalbeds and shale gas formations, such as the Bakken in western North Dakota and eastern Montana.

The USEPA study was undertaken at the request of the U.S. Congress. Among the newly released information are updates on 18 research projects, as well as details on USEPA’s research approach, and the next steps for these ongoing projects and analyses. The USEPA 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 federal register by clicking here.

The study's results are expected to be released in a draft report for public and peer review in 2014. The study has been designated a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment, meaning it will receive the highest level of peer review in accordance with USEPA’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. Additionally, USEPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) is forming a panel of independent experts, who will review and provide their individual input on the ongoing study. The SAB will provide an opportunity for the public to offer comments for consideration by the individual panel members.

For additional information from the USEPA about the hydraulic fracturing study, click here.




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