Skip to comments.My, my: EPA declines to confirm a connection between fracking and groundwater pollution in Wyoming
Posted on 06/21/2013 5:28:27 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Under President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency hasnt displayed much of an inclination for judiciousness in their bureaucratic rulemaking. It seems that they rarely miss an opportunity to design new regulations, to ascribe themselves new and expanded authority, nor to find and/or make up new justifications for doing so which makes this conspicuously odd.
Since 2011, the EPA has been reviewing their study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing a.k.a. fracking, the drilling technique largely behind the shale oil and gas boom sweeping the nation on possible groundwater contamination near drilling sites in Wyoming. It was the first major study that pointed to a possible link between fracking and groundwater pollution, and the eco-radical crowd cheered the EPA onward (never you mind the many glaring problems with the studys findings and analysis, which Wyoming Governor Matt Mead at the time called scientifically questionable) while the EPA pursued their desired results with all of the single-minded determination of a government agency whose collective mind is already made up. And yet, here we are, over a year later, and the EPA still hasnt been able to conclusively determine that the chemicals they are detecting are indeed the result of hydraulic fracturing which might explain why the independent federal agency is now deciding to abandon their plan to confirm that the two are linked and is instead returning the regulatory responsibilities back to the state of Wyoming. Via the AP:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it is abandoning its longstanding plan to have independent scientists confirm or cast doubt on its finding that hydraulic fracturing may be linked to groundwater pollution in central Wyoming.
We stand behind our work and the data, but EPA recognizes the states commitment to further investigation, he told AP.
Wyoming officials have been skeptical about the theory that hydraulic fracturing played a role in the pollution, but Reynolds expressed confidence the state could lead the work from here.
The EPA has extended public comment periods on the draft report three times since it came out twice last year and again this year. Each extension delayed the peer-review plans.
They just cant bear to come out and say it, can they? Especially not now that it sounds like the Obama administration is looking to move forward, albeit slowly and cautiously, with some increased natural gas development. I doubt that Josh Fox will be at all pleased.
That’s Obama’s favorite ploy. Delay, delay, and delay. Then delay some more, while they investigate it further. Then . . . delay.
I read something earlier today about NY State having basically done the same thing.
Got a link?
Looking now, but I’m on a different machine.
It came from some commentary about the documentary “Fracknation?
Translation: We know we fouled up, the USGS doesn't even like our test well construction, and we aren't about to pay any independent scientists to double check our work and prove it.
I gave up looking, because I found this and I’m finding it both entertaining and informative.
Would that be because thetre IS no connection? Independent lab tesrs have repeatedly shown that 99% of the stuff pumped into the ground to cause the fracturing is water.
And, to date, at least, water is not considered a pollutant.
You are very welcome.
As I am watching that video, I couldn’t help but to link the concepts to this thread:
and what I wrote a few months ago.
There is either no connection or comrade obama is making money on fracking. It’s hard for me to believe there’s absolutely no trace of pollution what-so-ever.
An acquaintance who lived there said the water has always been bad.
What little near-surface contamination that does get into groundwater from hydraulic fracturing gets there because it was spilled on the surface, not from the frac, which occurs thousands of feet down. The hole between the surface and the producing formation is cased (lined with steel pipe which is cemented in place). A casing bond log is run to check the quality of that cement, as well as a a pressure test to ensure there are no leaks, because leaks could result in loss of oil or gas, which is counter to the objective of producing oil and gas--if you lose some, you are losing money.
Regardless of motivation, oil companies don't want to have environmental disasters, either, and fracturing the wrong layers of rock would only ensure the oil had some place to go besides out of the well. Frankly, that's no way to make money, and could ruin a good well.
Keep in mind, too, most of the folks supervising the frac and other production activities likely live in the area. They don't want to compromise the health of the community they live in, nor that of their families, either.
I have been in the industry for over 30 years, and if I had at any point thought things were not being done correctly, I'd be the first to blow the whistle. After all, I live where I work, too.
If the EPA tries hard enough, they’re bound to come up with something, even if they have to go to Mars to get it.
As a scientist, I have always seen science as an attempt to understand the natural world. (Engineering being the application of that understanding to change that world, hopefully for the better).
As for what is, it is, and if we keep honest our chances of recognizing it are far greater. If we do that well, the engineers have a better chance at success in their endeavours.