EPA Report Implicates Fracking in Water Contamination


In a blistering report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fracking, the controversial method of injecting high-pressured fluids to enhance gas flows, may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution in Wyoming.

A draft of the EPA report, released this afternoon, is expected to get the attention of several states, including Idaho, which are anticipating a renaissance of natural-gas exploration. Before Bridge Resources ran into significant financial struggles earlier this year, the company expressed its intention of using fracking at its gas wells in Payette County.

Idaho's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission recently gave its blessing to new rules overseeing the gas exploration industry, including new regulations for fracking. The rules are expected to be considered during the 2012 Idaho legislative session.

The EPA found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals were detected in groundwater beneath Wyoming communities. Health officials advised citizens not to drink their water after the EPA found the hydrocarbons in wells. The EPA said today that its report is the first step in a process of opening up its findings to the public and other scientists.