In its Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations Report, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriation Conference Committee identified the need for a focused study on the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water resources. EPA scientists, under this Administration and at the direction of Congress, are undertaking a study to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing (HF) on drinking water resources.
The scope of the proposed research includes the full lifespan of water in HF, 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 water and its ultimate treatment and disposal.
EPA held four technical workshops from February through March 2011 to explore the following focus areas:
- Chemical & Analytical Methods, February 24-25;
- Well Construction & Operations, March 10-11;
- Fate & Transport, March 28-29; and (coming soon)
- Water Resource Management, March 29-30 (coming soon)
The goal of the technical workshops was three-fold:
- Inform EPA of the current technology and practices being used in hydraulic fracturing,
- Identify research related to the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, and
- Provide an opportunity for EPA scientists to interact with technical experts. EPA invited technical experts from the oil and natural gas industry, consulting firms, laboratories, state and federal agencies, and environmental organizations to participate in the workshops.
EPA will use the information presented in these abstracts and presentations to inform research that effectively evaluates the relationship between HF and drinking water. Learn more»