Energy

Yet Another Report Says Fracking Doesn’t Contaminate Water

(Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Hydraulic fracturing hasn’t contaminated groundwater, another study published Thursday found.

The firm Catalyst Environmental Solutions examined Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies and reaffirmed the agency’s conclusion that fracking hasn’t broadly contaminated groundwater.

“EPA reviewed state-of-the-science studies and employed a structured and logical method of analysis to reach its conclusions by focusing on those areas where hydraulic fracturing was conducted in close proximity to drinking water supplies and/or residents,” reads the study.

“With this approach, if a significant correlation between impaired drinking water resources and hydraulic fracturing existed, EPA would have identified it; however, the results did not support this finding,” the study found.

Researchers at the EPA and other organizations used an expanded definition of drinking water pushed by environmental activists, but still found fracking’s impacts were not widespread or systemic.

The study was prepared by the firm for the American Petroleum Institute.

Numerous other scientific studies from regulatory bodiesacademics,  and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have determined that fracking doesn’t contaminate drinking water.

“From our assessment, we conclude there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources. We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” according to a five-year study on the impacts of fracking published by the EPA in June 2015.

Even studies financially supported by environmentalists find no effect on water quality from fracking. A three-year study by the University of Cincinnati published in February found that fracking couldn’t contaminate groundwater even though it was paid for by environmentalists.

“Our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results,” Amy Townsend-Small, the study’s lead researcher, told Newsweek in April. “We haven’t seen anything to show that wells have been contaminated by fracking.”

Environmentalists responded to these studies, saying, “millions of Americans know that fracking contaminates groundwater and for the EPA to report any differently only proves that the greatest contamination from the industry comes from its influence and ownership of our government.”

Fracking earthquake myths from environmentalists frequently confuse fracking with wastewater disposal. These myths are so widespread that the USGS actually maintains a “Myths and Misconceptions” section of its website to debunk them.

Up to 96 percent of wastewater from fracking is from naturally occurring salts and brines, not artificial fracking fluids, a new study published by Duke University concluded. Duke researchers found that between 92 and 96 percent of wastewater coming out of fracking wells was comprised of naturally occurring brines and salts, which were extracted along with the gas and oil. Only about 4 to 8 percent of the wastewater included man-made chemicals.

Environmental groups frequently blame fracking for just about everything, including droughtsdrinking water contaminationflaming tap-water, poverty, income inequality, and even low sperm counts.

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