EPA Releases Draft Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Water Resources
The EPA has released a draft of their study plan in answer to a directive from Congress to research this issue. The study's scope includes the entire lifecycle of water used in hydraulic fracturing, and is to be done by an all-star group of scientists and engineers that are said to be independent of both the oil industry and environmental activist interests. In reading the study plan, it's interesting to note that part of the proposal includes backward-looking "retrospective" case studies to try and answer questions raised by past reports of contamination. It will be very interesting to see if some of these questions can finally be firmly resolved and put to rest, so we at least know for sure "yes" or "no."
If they can maintain objectivity, which I feel they probably can, then this is a very, very good thing for the oil and especially the gas business, even if there are some results that might make us cringe. Right now, the debate over the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing is open to any kind of wild conjecture and assertion that opponents of the industry feel like making. And, it's impossible to find a solution to answer public concerns without knowing what, exactly, it is that you're trying to solve.
This study will hopefully set the debate on a firm footing, grounded in well-established facts, evidence, and independently reproduceable results, that constrains all sides.
Here is a link to the study proposal PDF file: EPA hydraulic fracturing study plan
And here is the EPA site discussing it: EPA hydraulic fracturing
Last updated (Wednesday, 09 February 2011 13:05)