Call for EPA to improve hydraulic fracturing study welcomed by API
WASHINGTON -- API Group Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito welcomed passage of the EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study Improvement Act by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The Committee’s approval of H.R. 2850 will require the EPA to include a science-based and peer-reviewed assessment of any potential impact on drinking water in its ongoing study.
The EPA study, which was requested by Congress in 2010, is expected to be finalized in 2014. Despite concerns raised by Congress and members of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, the EPA has not indicated that it will offer a thorough risk assessment as part of its review. H.R. 2850 requires that the EPA include “objective estimates of the probability, uncertainly, and consequence of each identified impact.” It also requires that this assessment take into account the risk management practices of state regulators and industry.
“Hydraulic fracturing is already subject to robust regulation by the states and rigorous engineering standards,” said Milito. “A comprehensive study must give policymakers scientific context to understand what the data represents, and how it may inform decisions. Without this the proper information, an impact that poses no threat to human health could create needless uncertainly, resulting in lost jobs and higher production costs.”