US EPA wants more existing data for drinking water study

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING: EPA wants more existing data for drinking water study by Ellen M. Gilmer, April 30, 2013, E&E News
U.S. EPA is taking an extra six months to collect existing research on hydraulic fracturing as it continues its own study of the oil and gas extraction method. The agency stressed yesterday that the deadline extension would not affect the release date of the full draft report, due in late 2014. “This is a natural extension of the [request for information] to give people more time to submit information,” spokeswoman Molly Hooven said in a statement yesterday. “The date for the draft report of results is not affected by this extension.” The new deadline for the public to submit outside research is Nov. 15, adding more than six months to the original deadline, which had been set for today. The agency announced the extension in a Federal Register notice this week. “While the EPA conducts a thorough literature search, there may be studies or other primary technical sources that are not available through the open literature,” the notice said. “The EPA would appreciate receiving information from the public to help inform current and future research.”

EPA first asked for existing scientific research from industry, environmentalists and researchers last fall (EnergyWire, Nov. 13, 2012) and plans to accept additional outside research in 2014. The fracking study, first requested by a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, has seen many changes to its timeline since it was announced in early 2010. A final study was supposed to be released at the end of 2012, but the agency instead published a progress report on the information-gathering process (Greenwire, Dec. 21, 2012). That progress report is now subject to public comment and peer review, and a final draft report is slated for late 2014. … Critics in the industry, meanwhile, question whether EPA should spend resources on the project at all, arguing that the states have been regulating oil and gas development for years and that the Obama administration is overstepping its bounds by involving EPA in the issue. Peer reviewers for the research will meet next week to give feedback on the study’s progress so far (EnergyWire, March 26). [Emphasis added]

This entry was posted in Global Frac News. Bookmark the permalink.