USEPA Announces Final Study Plan to Assess Hydraulic Fracturing

us epa-logo, hydraulic fracturing study, articles.waterdesalinationplants.comAt the request of Congress, EPA is working to better understand potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources.

Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy future and the process known as hydraulic fracturing (HF) is one way of accessing that vital resource. HF is used by gas producers to stimulate wells and recover natural gas from sources such as coalbeds and shale gas formations. HF is also used for other applications including oil recovery. Over the past few years, several key technical, economic, and energy policy developments have spurred increased use of HF for gas extraction over a wider diversity of geographic regions and geologic formations. It is projected that shale gas will comprise over 20% of the total US gas supply by 2020 (PDF) (230 pp, 2MB, About PDF). Along with the expansion of HF, there has been increasing concerns about its potential impacts on drinking water resources, public health, and environmental impacts in the vicinity of these facilities.

Underground Injection Control Guidance for Permitting Oil and Natural Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels

EPA is developing Underground Injection Control (UIC) permitting guidance for hydraulic fracturing activities that use diesel fuels in fracturing fluids.

EPA’s Final Hydraulic Fracturing Study Plan

In its Fiscal Year 2010 budget report, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriation Conference Committee identified the need for a focused study of hydraulic fracturing. EPA scientists, under this administration and at the direction of Congress, are undertaking a study of hydraulic fracturing to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water and groundwater.  EPA consulted with experts in the field through peer review, and technical workshops and engaged stakeholders in a dialogue about the study through facilitated public meetings.

The overall purpose of the study is to understand the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. The scope of the research includes the full lifespan of water in hydraulic fracturing, from acquisition of the water, through the mixing of chemicals and actual fracturing, to the post-fracturing stage, including the management of flowback and produced water and its ultimate treatment and disposal.

View here for more details on the US EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study

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