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EPA Issues Final Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Bernadette Rappold, an attorney with Greenberg Traurig, reported at Lexology that ina final report the EPA concluded that activities throughout the hydraulic fracturing water cycle – from water withdrawal through disposal of produced water – "can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances." But, she wrote, the agency said it could not quantify the frequency of impacts on a national level.

The final report, titled "Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas: Impacts from the Hydraulic Fracturing Water Cycle on Drinking Water Resources in the United States," clarifies the findings from the agency's June 2015 draft report. There, the EPA concluded that it had not found "evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States." Last August the agency's own Science Advisory Board (SAB) sharply criticized the statement as unsupported by the data and not reflective of the significant data gaps in the agency's research, she wrote, pointing out that the SAB specifically faulted the EPA's failure to provide updates on allegations of drinking water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming, Parker County, Texas, and Dimock, Pennsylvania.


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