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Notice: EPA is announcing the availability of the final report, Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas: Impacts from the Hydraulic Fracturing Water Cycle on Drinking Water Resources in the United States.

Author: Natural Resources Defense Council July 2012

The extraction of shale gas--natural gas found in deep layers of shale rock formations--is on the rise in many states. Gas drilling companies will likely drill tens of thousands of wells by 2020. The Obama administration's Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future identifies shale gas reserves as an important new energy source as the U.S. transitions from its heavy reliance on oil to a "clean energy future."

Depending on where and how it’s done, natural gas drilling does have the potential to impact Pennsylvania’s waterways, an independent study reveals.

Report date: July 2015. The exploration of unconventional shale energy reserves and the extensive use of hydraulic fracturing during well stimulation have raised concerns about the potential effects of unconventional oil and gas extraction (UOG) on the environment.

Report date: June 2015. The U.S. Congress urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water.

Report date: April 2015. This assessment provides a review and synthesis of available scientific literature and data to assess the potential for hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources, and identifies factors affecting the frequency or severity of any potential impacts.

Report date: April 2015. New techniques of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) are now used to unlock oil and gas from rocks with very low permeability. Some members of the public protest against HVHF due to fears that associated compounds could migrate into aquifers.

Cracks in the Facade

25 Years Ago (1987), EPA Linked “Fracking” to Water Contamination. Fractures can extend for 2500 ft and frequently to 1000ft, and can spread to neighbouring wells.

14 leading US fracking companies used over 2,500 products. More than 650 contain chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act or listed as hazardous air pollutants.

This report outlines over 60 instances of water contamination & fugitive methane migration from gas drilling operations caused by the failure to contain well pressure, faulty production casing or accidental drilling into other abandoned or producing gas wells.

A detailed look at some of the effects of gas drilling on environment, communities and health. Based on investigations, findings, and statements of state and federal regulators.

After an 11-month study, the report concludes fracking poses “catastrophic consequences” to the city’s drinking water and should not take place within 7 miles of New York City’s watershed. Hazen and Sawyer (Environmental Engineers & Scientists) for the New York City DEP.

by Abrahm Lustgarten - ProPublica, Nov. 13, 2008.

n July, a hydrologist dropped a plastic sampling pipe 300 feet down a water well in rural Sublette County, Wyo., and pulled up a load of brown oily water with a foul smell.

Report date: December 1987. Report to Congress concludes that “fracking” of a natural gas well in West Virginia contaminated an underground drinking water source, their investigations had been hampered by confidentiality agreements between industry & affected landowners.

Report date: April 1984. Recent drilling for natural gas in the Glaciated Appalachian Plateau area of northwestern Pennsylvania has caused limited, but increasing ground-water contamination.

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