The speculations of many hesitant consumers have finally been justified. The Environmental Protection Agency has now admitted that the practice of fracking does indeed contaminate drinking water resources.
Back in 2015, the EPA issued a draft report which stated that hydraulic fracturing or fracking does not lead to “widespread, systematic impacts on drinking water,” while evidence suggested the opposite. Experts and scientists, along with consumers who had in fact been effected remained puzzled due to the various studies which suggested otherwise.
In a turn of events, the EPA issued its widely anticipated final report which concluded that fracking actually does contaminate drinking water resources. In the final report which was paid for by Congress, it “provides scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources in the United States under some circumstances,” stated the EPA in a press statement.
The EPA’s deputy assistant administrator and science adviser told reporters that “There are instances when hydro-fracking has impacted drinking water resources. That’s an important conclusion, an important consideration for moving forward.” Included in the report are three cases that tell an entire story regarding the dangers of fracking.
The report also includes various examples of how water can be contaminated during each stage of fracking, including:
- Water withdrawals for hydraulic fracturing in times or areas of low water availability, particularly in areas with limited or declining groundwater resources.
- Spills during the management of hydraulic fracturing fluids and chemicals or produced water that result in large volumes or high concentrations of chemicals reaching groundwater resources.
- Injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into wells with inadequate mechanical integrity, allowing gasses or liquids to move to groundwater resources.
- Injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids directly into groundwater resources
- Discharge of inadequately treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater to surface water resources.
- Disposal or storage of hydraulic fracturing wastewater in unlined pits, resulting in contamination of groundwater resources.
Of course, this final report has received much criticism by the fossil fuel corporations. Including a statement made by the Director of the American Petroleum Institute, Erik Milito, who told the Hill,
“It is beyond absurd for the administration to reverse course on its way out the door. The science and data clearly demonstrate that hydraulic fracturing does not lead to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources. Unfortunately, consumers have witnessed five years and millions of dollars expended only to see conclusion based in science changed to a conclusion based on political ambiguity.”
While it may be “beyond absurd” to those who profit immensely from this practice, it is a justified turn of events for the American people who have been left in devastation due to contamination in their water supply. Thankfully, scientific studies have provided evidence which placed pressure on the EPA to report the truth.