EPA now concedes fracking is a hazard to drinking water

After a year-long review of the data, the EPA has concluded that fracking poses a systemic danger to clean groundwater. But it’s not solely inherent to the technology of fracking itself. Human handling is a big part of the problem. Last year, in response to a 2011 probe, the agency sought review on an initial report on the hazards posed by fracking, but reviewers found the report incomplete. External reviewers weren’t satisfied with the data, and requested a review of the sample size and justifications for the safety conclusions originally drawn. Then, in early 2016, the staid and not exactly controversial United States Geological Survey released a report concluding that fracking had caused a rash of recent earthquakes in Oklahoma and Texas. Until 2008, Dallas had never had an earthquake. But it sits atop the Barnett Shale, second only to the Marcellus Shale in size and importance.

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