The US government s most comprehensive examination of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and drinking water, which spanned four years, concluded that fracking, as it is being carried out and regulated, is not a threat to drinking water.
Hydraulic fracturing activities in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systematic impact on drinking water resources, said Thomas Burke, deputy assistant administrator of the EPA s office of research and development. In fact, the number of documented impacts to drinking water is relatively low when compared to the number of fractured wells.
The EPA report did state that there were a small number of contaminated wells. Environmentalists are arguing that this finding is proof fracking is dangerous, all while ignoring the over-arching conclusion of the study: fracking has potential risks, but can be carried out safely.
The contamination of drinking water, along with allegations of adverse health impacts on human and animal health, were among the original fears sparking the first protests against fracking fears that were only exacerbated by the 2010 film Gasland, in which one scene depicted a landowner lighting his faucet water on fire (this dramatic, but dishonest and manipulative scene has been roundly ridiculed and debunked since, as the natural gas content of that farm was found to be the cause of the inflammable water, not fracking-related activity). As more and more evidence shows that groundwater contamination is a largely unsubstantiated fear, anti-fracking advocates are moving on to other unfounded arguments, for example, that fracking causes earthquakes. (This and other unsupported fears are dispelled in ACSH s publication, FRACKING: A SAFE AND EFFICIENT PATH TO ENERGY INDEPENDENCE).
The 998-page EPA study was released in draft form on Thursday, and will become final later this year after a review by the EPA s Science Advisory Board.
ACSH s Dr. Gil Ross had this comment: Perhaps someone should package and deliver this comprehensive, exhaustive Federal report to NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Health Commissioner-puppet, Dr. Howard Zucker. Their fracking ban in New York had access to the same data as did the EPA, yet their phony concern for potential harms of fracking led them to ban it, at great detriment to the people of New York but of great import to his radical, green-enviro fringe base. He should be doubly ashamed now.