Remember when activists said fracking would contaminate water?
Well, after five years of research, the U.S. EPA released its final study on fracking and groundwater and found no evidence of widespread contamination.
Former EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator Thomas Burke even clarified that the number of instances in which groundwater was affected was “small.” In a recent CBS This Morning interview he repeated that that finding, noting, “The overall incidence of impacts is low.”
EPA isn’t alone. Other peer-reviewed studies have concluded the same thing. Here are just a few examples:
- Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, Yale University, 2015 (Drollette et al.): “We found no evidence for direct communication with shallow drinking water wells due to upward migration from shale horizons.”
- U.S. Geological Survey, 2013 (Kresse et al.): “This new study is important in terms of finding no significant effects on groundwater quality from shale gas development within the area of sampling.”
- Environmental Science and Technology, Syracuse University, 2015 (Siegel et al.): “[T]here is no significant correlation between dissolved methane concentrations in groundwater and proximity to nearby oil/gas wells.”
- California Council on Science and Technology, 2015: “We found no documented instance of hydraulic fracturing or acid stimulations directly causing groundwater contamination in California.”
- Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, 2016: “Evidence does not indicate that hydraulic fracturing fluids have risen to shallow depths intersected by water-supply wells.”
- Groundwater and Geophysical Research Letters, 2013 (Flewelling et al.): “It is not physically plausible for induced fractures to create a hydraulic connection between deep black shale and other tight formations to overlying potable aquifers, based on the limited amount of height growth at depth and the rotation of the last principal stress to the vertical direction at shallow depths.”
- Dr. Amy Townsend Small, University of Cincinnati, 2015: “We never saw a significant increase in methane concentration after (the) fracking well was drilled.”
- U.S. Department of Energy’s National Technology Laboratory (2014): “Current findings are 1) no evidence of gas migration from the Marcellus Shale; and 2) no evidence of brine migration from the Marcellus Shale.
Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz — who has stated many times that fracking is good for the environment and economy — said of the latter study,
“We continue to not see examples of the fracking itself, the hydraulic fracturing, compromising freshwater.”
Decades of peer-reviewed studies have debunked activists and confirmed that fracking does not pose a credible threat to drinking water. As EID notes in this new video, the science is settled.