Congress has given the EPA a mandate to perform a full investigation of the practice of using ground water mixed with chemicals to release oil or natural gas, known as fracking, from drill sites.
The main concern with this process is its possible chemical contamination of ground water and the problem of proper disposal of waste-water. The EPA will be focusing their study only on the effect fracking has on drinking water and expects to have a plan in place by March 7-8 of this year.
Though there has yet to be a conclusive study that shows fracking has contaminated drinking water there have been more than 1,000 reports of contamination where drilling is the suspected culprit. The increasing usage of ground water for fracking at drill sites makes proper handling of waste water to avoid contamination crucial. The study will be an important step in the ongoing battle to protect our natural resources and the availability of safe drinking water.