By Roy L Hales
On June 4 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft assessment on how fracking impacts America’s drinking water. Contrary to industry claims, the EPA admits there have been incidents of water contamination and water being withdrawn from areas where there was little water available. The authors stated the number of incidents was small, but also admitted they had limited information from which to draw that conclusion. I reached out for expert opinions from two experts. Neither was impressed by the EPA’s report on how fracking impact’s America’s water supply.
“My general reaction is ‘why bother?’ I have a lot of compassion for EPA, they must have really struggled with this one, but I don’t feel like they produced a very useful report. There is nothing new.” – Dr Allan Hoffman, a retired senior analyst who served in the Department of Energy under five US Presidents. He is also one of the co-authors of the report “Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing: Framing the Water Issue.”
The EPA tried to get companies to monitor their wells:
“Most companies flat-out refused to comply. So this report is more of a literature review. It is very thorough, in terms of looking at the available data, but limited because they still can’t say how widespread these impacts are when there so few companies that are willing to let the EPA study them,” said Amanda Frank, from the Center of Effective Government.
This interview contained a number of references to articles on the ECOreport
- A review of Dr Hoffman’s report “Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing: Framing the Water Issue.”
- Articles by, or about, Dr Allan Hoffman on the ECOreport
- Interviews with, or stories mentioning, former oil consultant Jessica Ernst
- Maryland’s Draft fracking regulations
- (related) BC gets A Conditional “F” in Fracking
Photo Credit: A typical drill pad in the Marcellus Shale gas play of southwestern Pennsylvania. Pictured here are pumps, generators, fuel, chemicals, sand, pipes, service trucks, and other infrastructure required for the involved process of hydraulic fracturing. Photo Credit: Doug Duncan, USGS