Fracking Pollutes Some Water, But Harm is Not Widespread, EPA Says
First major analysis of fracking finds some problems, but no “systemic impacts,” and helps states, cities identify waters that may be vulnerable.
The most sweeping review ever of hydraulic fracturing found that it has not caused widespread harm to U.S. drinking water. But the controversial method of extracting oil and gas from underground rocks still poses many threats to water, officials with the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.
The EPA’s long-awaited analysis is considered important because it is a nationwide assessment of the risks to water supplies posed by fracking. The intent is to give states and local governments an idea of what pollution and other effects to expect and help them decide how to regulate the growing industry.
The EPA acknowledged "specific instances" around the country where fracking and related activities had polluted or depleted groundwater, drinking wells, and streams. But