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EPA Announces a Schedule of Public Meetings on Hydraulic Fracturing Research Study

Release Date: 06/18/2010
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, jones.enesta@epa.gov, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting four public information meetings on the proposed study of the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and its potential impacts on drinking water. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that helps production of 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 proposed study scope and design. EPA will solicit public comments on the draft study plan.

The public meetings will be held on:

    July 8 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. CDT at the Hilton Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas
    July 13 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. MDT at the Marriot Tech Center’s Rocky Mountain Events Center in Denver, Colo.
    July 22 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT at the Hilton Garden Inn in Canonsburg, Pa.
    August 12 at the Anderson Performing Arts Center at Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. for 3 sessions - 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT

Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy future and hydraulic fracturing is one 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. The agency will use this advice and extensive stakeholder input to guide the design of the study.

Stakeholders are requested to pre-register for the meetings at least 72 hours before each meeting.

More information on the meetings: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/uic/wells_hydrofrac.html