The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting four public information meetings on their proposed study of the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and its potential impacts on drinking water. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that aids access to natural gas or oil from shale and other geological formations. By pumping fracturing fluids (water and chemical additives) and sand or other similar materials into rock formations, fractures are created that allow natural gas or oil to flow from the rock through the fractures to a production well for extraction. The meetings will provide public information about the scope and design of the proposed study. EPA will solicit public comments on the draft study plan.
The public meetings will be held on:
Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy future and hydraulic fracturing is one key way of accessing this vital resource. However, serious concerns have been raised about hydraulic fracturing’s potential impact on drinking water, human health and the environment. To address these concerns, EPA announced in March that it will study the potential adverse impact that hydraulic fracturing may have on drinking water.
To support the initial planning phase and guide the development of the study plan, the agency sought suggestions and comments from the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB)—an independent, external federal advisory committee. Their advice, along with extensive stakeholder input, will guide the design of the study.
Stakeholders are requested to pre-register for the meetings at least 72 hours before each meeting.