About Air and Water

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

EPA Office of Public Engagement Notice: EPA Submits Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Study Plan to Independent Scientists for Review

From Larmett.John@epamail.epa.gov

Dear Friend:


The draft plan is open to public comment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted its Draft Study
Plan on hydraulic fracturing for review to the agency’s Science Advisory
Board (SAB), a group of independent scientists. EPA scientists, under
this administration and at the direction of Congress, are undertaking a
study of this practice to better understand any potential impacts it may
have, including on groundwater. EPA has held a series of public
meetings, with thousands in attendance, across the country and developed
a sound draft plan for moving forward with the study.

EPA is planning to host webinars on Tuesday, February 15th and
Wednesday, February 16th to walk interested stakeholders through the
content of the draft study plan. We will be e-mailing details on how to
participate in these webinars later this week.


Best wishes,
John Larmett
Senior Public Liaison Specialist
Office of Public Engagement
Office of External Affairs & Environmental Education
Office of the Administrator
(202) 564-7842 - Office
(202) 280-8246 - Blackberry



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2011


EPA Submits Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Study Plan to Independent
Scientists for Review

The draft plan is open to public comment

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today
submitted its draft study plan on hydraulic fracturing for review to the
agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), a group of independent
scientists. Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy
future and the process known as hydraulic fracturing is one way of
accessing that vital resource. EPA scientists, under this administration
and at the direction of Congress, are undertaking a study of this
practice to better understand any potential impacts it may have,
including on groundwater. EPA announced its intention to conduct the
study in March 2010 and use the best available science, independent
sources of information, a transparent, peer-reviewed process and with
consultation from others. Since then, EPA has held a series of public
meetings across the country with thousands attending and the agency has
developed a sound draft plan for moving forward with the study.

The scope of the proposed research includes the full lifespan of water
in hydraulic fracturing, from acquisition of the water, through the
mixing of chemicals and actual fracturing, to the post-fracturing stage,
including the management of flowback and produced or used water and its
ultimate treatment and disposal.

The SAB plans to review the draft plan March 7-8, 2011. Consistent with
the operating procedures of the SAB, stakeholders and the public will
have an opportunity to provide comments to the SAB during their review.
The agency will revise the study plan in response to the SAB’s comments
and promptly begin the study. Initial research results and study
findings are expected to be made public by the end of 2012, with the
goal of an additional report following further research in 2014.

Hydraulic fracturing is a process in which large volumes of water, sand
and chemicals are injected at high pressures to extract oil and natural
gas from underground rock formations. The process creates fractures in
formations such as shale rock, allowing natural gas or oil to escape
into the well and be recovered. Over the past few years, the use of
hydraulic fracturing for gas extraction has increased and has expanded
over a wider diversity of geographic regions and geologic formations.

For a copy of the draft study plan and additional information:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/02ad90b136fc21ef85256eba00436459/d3483ab445ae61418525775900603e79!OpenDocument&TableRow=2.1#2

More information on hydraulic fracturing:
www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing

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