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EPA Issues a Draft Report on Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources

Posted by Neno Duplan

This assessment provides a review and synthesis of available scientific literature and data to assess the potential for hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources, and identifies factors affecting the frequency or severity of any potential impacts. The scope of this assessment is defined by the hydraulic fracturing water cycle which includes five main activities:

  1. Water acquisition – the withdrawal of ground or surface water needed for hydraulic fracturing fluids;
  2. Chemical mixing – the mixing of water, chemicals, and proppant on the well pad to create the hydraulic fracturing fluid;
  3. Well injection – the injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into the well to fracture the geologic formation;
  4. Flowback and Produced water – the return of injected fluid and water produced from the formation to the surface, and subsequent transport for reuse, treatment, or disposal; and
  5. Wastewater treatment and waste disposal – the reuse, treatment and release, or disposal of wastewater generated at the well pad, including produced water.

This report can be used by federal, tribal, state, and local officials; industry; and the public to better understand and address vulnerabilities of drinking water resources to hydraulic fracturing activities. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of published literature and hints on environmental data management challenges facing hydro fracking industry.  Find out more about our solutions for the oil & gas industry.

For more information and to download report please visit the EPA site: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/hfstudy/recordisplay.cfm?deid=244651

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