Does Fracking Contaminate Drinking Water?

Josh Fox in Eco Watch says it does: “In a draft report five years in the making, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed that fracking does indeed contaminate drinking water, a fact the oil and gas industry has vehemently denied. But instead of dismantling the industry’s ‘not one single case of groundwater contamination caused by fracking’ refrain, the EPA decided to go with the misleading headline ‘there is no evidence fracking has led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.’”

“It’s a puzzling conclusion since their study was conspicuously narrow (they did no new case studies, dropped three marquee cases that proved water contamination and dropped all air quality studies from the report).”

“If the EPA is looking for proof of ‘widespread’ contamination before declaring fracking unsafe, they may not have to wait long. The industry’s own data shows that 5 percent of fracking wells leak upon drilling and that number only grows over time.”

“What the EPA presented to the public yesterday was PR, not science and proof of the widespread, systemic contamination of our regulatory bodies by the oil and gas industry.”

Inside Climate News: “EPA officials said the study is not meant to provide a comprehensive tally of water contamination incidents … As a result, the report stitches together a piecemeal picture of fracking-related incidents. It relies on several case studies involving a handful of major incidents … that state regulators investigated. It also uses state data for possible contamination events, such as spills of fracking fluid at well pads, which EPA acknowledges provides a limited scope of the problem.”

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