The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in keeping with the administration’s focus to ensure that the agency leverages domestic resources safely and responsibly, announced the next steps in its congressionally mandated hydraulic fracturing study. EPA has identified seven case studies to help inform the assessment of potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources.
The sites identified were selected following extensive input from stakeholders, including the public, local and state officials, industry and environmental organizations. To ensure the agency maintains the current timeline for the study, the EPA will begin fieldwork in some of the selected regions this summer.
Natural gas plays a key role in the nation’s energy future. EPA is working closely with other federal partners to ensure that this important resource can be developed safely.
The studies, which will take place in regions across the country, will be broken into two study groups. Two of the seven sites were selected as prospective case studies where EPA will monitor key aspects of the hydraulic fracturing process throughout the lifecycle of a well.
Five retrospective case studies were selected and will examine areas where hydraulic fracturing has occurred for any impact on drinking water resources.
The information gathered from these case studies will be part of an approach that includes literature review, collection of data and information from states, industry and communities, laboratory work and computer modeling.
The combination of these materials will allow us to do a more comprehensive assessment of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. The study will continue to use the best available science, independent sources of information, and will be conducted using a transparent, peer-reviewed process, to better understand any impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing.