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EPA Backs Off Study Tying Fracking to Contaminated Water in Wyoming


The Environmental Protection Agency decided Thursday to abandon an investigation into its nearly two-year-old report that linked hydraulic fracturing (i.e. “fracking”) to contaminated water in Wyoming, Reuters reports.

“The draft report released by the Environmental Protection Agency in late 2011 sent shockwaves through the oil and gas sector,” the report adds.

Of course, the industry directly contradicted the EPA’s 2011 claims, arguing that fracking has not once been the cause of water contamination.

“Critics of the report, including Wyoming officials, raised concerns about whether EPA properly constructed the wells it used to draw its conclusions,” the report adds.

And, as noted by the Daily Caller, the EPA study did have some major issues:

In 2011, the EPA released a non-peer reviewed report on Pavillion in which the agency publicly linked fracking and groundwater contamination for the first time. However, then EPA administrator Lisa Jackson stated at the time that there is “no proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.”

And now, well after the release of the 2011 “study,” the EPA has decided to back off the issue.

“After numerous delays, the EPA said Thursday it would not finalize the report or seek a peer review of its findings, instead saying it would allow Wyoming to take over the investigation,” Reuters notes.

"We believe that EPA's focus going forward should be on using our resources to support Wyoming's efforts, which will build on EPA's monitoring results," EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe said in a statement.

Notable in all of this is the fact that the fed agency decided to simply abandon a further review of its initial finds rather than, you know, correct the record.

But maybe it’s just par for the EPA. After all, in 2012 the agency wrongly blamed water contamination in Dimock, Pa., and Parker County, Texas, on fracking. The agency seems to have a spotty track record on the subject.

The state of Wyoming plans to release a final report matter by September 30, 2014, Reuters notes.



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Featured image Getty Images.

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