On April 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it had extended from April 30 to November 15, 2013, its deadline for accepting data and scientific literature from the public for the agency’s study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking-water resources. Following is the EPA’s background statement on its request for information, from the Federal Register notice of the deadline extension, online at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/04/30/2013-10154/request-for-information-to-inform-hydraulic-fracturing-research-related-to-drinking-water-resources.
“In response to public concern, the U.S. Congress urged the EPA to conduct scientific research to examine the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. The EPA currently has underway a study to understand the potential impacts, if any, of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of any such impacts.
“The scope of the study includes the full hydraulic fracturing water lifecycle—from water acquisition, through the mixing of chemicals and injection of fracturing fluids, to the post fracturing stage, including the management of flowback and produced water and its ultimate treatment and disposal. The study includes a review of the published literature, analysis of existing data, scenario evaluation and modeling, laboratory studies and case studies. A copy of the EPA document entitled, Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources: PROGRESS REPORT can be found on the Internet at: http://epa.gov/hfstudy/pdfs/hf-report20121214.pdf.
“To ensure that the EPA is up-to-date on evolving hydraulic fracturing practices and technologies, the EPA is soliciting relevant data and scientific literature specific to potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. 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 EPA would appreciate receiving information from the public to help inform current and future research. Consistent with our commitment to using the highest quality information, The EPA prefers information which has been peer reviewed. Interested persons may provide scientific analyses, studies, and other pertinent scientific information, preferably information which has undergone scientific peer review. The EPA will consider all submissions but will give preference to all peer reviewed data and literature sources.”