Today, the United States EPA released its “Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources.” EPA will examine the full cycle of the hydraulic fracturing process according to the press release. This means the study will focus on five key areas: water acquisition, chemical mixing, well injection, flowback and produced water, and wastewater treatment and waste disposal.

The initial findings of the study will be released to the public in the early part of 2012, while the final report will be issued in 2014.

Industry members believe the EPA is overextending itself and going beyond what Congress requested them to do. While environmentalists believe the study doesn’t believe it does enough and avoids subjects like public safety and air quality around well fields.

For more information on the EPA’s plan for hydraulic fracturing click here.