Energy industry worried EPA could reverse fracking study to show water harm

fracking operationsThe oil and gas industry fears the Environmental Protection Agency may issue a new report that says fracking contaminates U.S. water supplies and is urging the agency to stick with the science of its original findings that shows no such risk exists.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America sent a letter Monday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy pressing her not to give in to anti-fracking special interest groups that have been pressuring the agency to go against scientific precedent with a finding that fossil fuel production from shale poses systemic risks to the nation’s water supply.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process used to extract oil and gas from shale rock formations deep underground. Known as the shale revolution, the production technique has made the U.S. a top global producer of oil and natural gas in a few short years.

The EPA is finalizing its draft report on the effects of fracking on the nation’s water supply. The industry group says that although EPA’s draft report, developed in concert with the agency’s Scientific Advisory Board, shows no substantial risk from fracking, members of the advisory board are looking to change that in the final version of the report.

“As the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) prepares its comments on the agency’s five-year study, ‘Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources,’ we would like to address the effort currently underway to pressure EPA into reversing its finding, namely that ‘hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources,'” the group’s letter reads.

Recent reports suggest members of the EPA advisory board may be considering a revision to the EPA five-year report findings “based not on science, but rather pressure from special interest groups,” the letter says.

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