A recently-released study questions key portions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to study the potential relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water contamination. The study, released on July 10, 2012 by the Battelle Memorial Institute and commissioned by America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API), was designed specifically “to examine EPA’s Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources.”
The report’s findings were wide-ranging. They included:
A lack of collaboration/transparency, including not designating the study a “highly influential scientific assessment”, which would subject it to additional public and scientific scrutiny (a charge EPA contests); The inclusion of “life-cycle” concepts such as wastewater handling and treatment, which Battelle contends are well-understood in the oil and gas industries; and The inclusion of an “environmental justice” review in the study.