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Marczak writes: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving back its timeline for release of its study on the impact of hydraulic fracturing from 2014 to 2016, the agency announced this week at a conference in Cleveland, OH."

Demonstrators protest fracking in New York. (photo: CREDO)
Demonstrators protest fracking in New York. (photo: CREDO)


EPA Pushes Back Fracking Impact Study to 2016

By Trisha Marczak, EcoWatch

22 June 13

 

he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving back its timeline for release of its study on the impact of hydraulic fracturing from 2014 to 2016, the agency announced this week at the Shale Gas: Promises and Challenges conference in Cleveland, OH.

The study, aimed at assessing the threats fracking poses to groundwater supplies and air quality, began in 2010 under the direction of Congress. The intent was to create a thorough assessment of the drilling method so states could make informed decisions on whether to ban fracking or regulate the industry.

With the study's release still years away, some observers question whether it will mean much at all, as the industry is likely to continue its takeover. Horizontal drilling is already taking off in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Ohio, to name a few. Just this week, Illinois enacted a new law welcoming the industry into the southern portion of the state.

In June 2012, there were more than 680,000 fracking wells throughout the country, according to a Scientific American report - and there's no sign of it slowing down. By 2018, North America's daily supply of oil will be 3.9 million barrels higher than it was in 2012, according to the International Energy Agency.

This expansion of the industry will happen before the EPA study can provide guidance on the possibility of water contamination from the fracking process, which injects a combination of water, chemicals and silica sand deep into the earth to break up formation where oil is locked. The concern is that, once injected, those chemicals will seep into the groundwater supply.

"In 10 to 100 years we are going to find out that most of our groundwater is polluted," Mario Salazar, a former EPA engineer, told Scientific American. "A lot of people are going to get sick, and a lot of people may die."

For some, it's more than a concern - it's a reality. According to EPA's coordinator of hydraulic fracturing research, Jeanne Briskin, 1,000 chemicals have already been identified as those commonly used in the drilling process.

Without adequate understanding of what is happening and what the consequences are, particularly related to water supplies, a release date of 2016 could be too little, too late.

In the meantime, federal and state governments are attempting to put regulations in place, yet not everyone is convinced they're doing enough to protect Americans.

Just last month, the Obama administration said it would force oil companies to disclose chemicals used in the drilling process. However, the requirement came with a loophole: The contents of the fracking fluid will be disclosed through the industry-run FracFocus.org, which doesn't require companies to reveal chemicals that are considered "trade secrets."


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+9 # waldemar 2013-06-22 09:16
What were the reasons given for delaying the report?
 
 
+5 # V Appalachia 2013-06-22 10:02
kick the can
 
 
+11 # MainStreetMentor 2013-06-22 10:42
Release the report in an election year. How convenient. Someone has "bought off" someone, would be my guess. In the interim years, of course, pollution and ruination of land, air and waterways will continue unabated by the greed mongers - and the levels of suffering both punitive and real will rise exponentially.
 
 
+3 # MainStreetMentor 2013-06-22 20:16
The frucking fracking from freaky friends of fathers of fraudulent fracturing firms froze the fairness factors of the foundations of freedom. Fairness is floundering in fifty fathoms of filthy fracked fluids in family farm fjords.

Flip these filthy frucking frackers in fracking fluid and let ‘em flop!
 
 
+15 # Malcolm 2013-06-22 11:06
Same ol' same ol'

The feds have been TOTALLY bought and paid for by the military I dustrial complex. :-P

Question : wtf can we DO about it?

(Partial, first step anyway) answer:

Acouple of days ago, here in Oregon, our "Representative s" voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that REQUESTS Congress to amend the constitution by, among other things, stating that corporations are NOT people, and that money is NOT speech.

We need a whole lot more States to join us, but the real challenge is to make Congress take its collective hands out of the cookie jar.
 
 
+9 # Helen 2013-06-22 12:02
Any study started in 2010 should have been completed by now. The EPA must be stalling deliberately. We must let President Obama know that this is is not acceptable.
 
 
+2 # BLBreck 2013-06-22 20:00
Well, I bet we all can only think of one reason for doing that. Somehow, I foresee that the gas companies will not be delayed in their operations because of it....and our politicians and EPA agents will have a sudden "gusher" in their bank accounts.
 
 
0 # Alfwyn 2013-06-25 12:08
This is an outrage. How tired I am of writing that! The corporate masters continue to stuff their pockets with money even as the Titanic (our precious planet) sinks into the universal ocean.March and protest wherever you can.
 

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