EPA Holds Webinar on Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Assessment Report

This week, EPA held a webinar on its draft study report entitled, “Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing (HF) for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources.”  During the webinar, Stephen LeDuc of EPA’s Office of Research and Development presented background information about the draft report, as well as an overview of the report and findings.

The assessment is based on scientific literature reviews, research publications, and information provided by stakeholders.  The assessment identified vulnerabilities, but did not equate them to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water sources (and potential sources) from HF activities.  Contributing factors to vulnerabilities included inadequate well casing and construction, well proximity to drinking water resources, spills, inadequately treated wastewater, and insufficient data and information to make some conclusions.  The assessment also considered well water volume and use, which it found to be highly variable depending on well locations and characteristics.  EPA will use comments from the public and EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) to finalize the report.  The SAB plans to hold teleconferences on September 30 and October 1 and 19, and a panel meeting on October 28-30 as part of the peer review process for the draft assessment report.  For more information, visit the EPA web site at:  http://www2.epa.gov/hfstudy.