By Weston W. Wilson
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June 15 2015 – The oil and gas industry has claimed repeatedly that fracking is safe, alleging there’s never been a single case of groundwater contamination from fracking.
People who live near fracking wells report a very different picture from devastating health impacts to contaminated drinking water and air pollution.
In 2010, Congress told EPA to study these claims. In 2011, EPA responded, announcing it would do a widespread investigation of the entire industry including the systemic release of toxic gases during fracking.
Under pressure from the industry, the EPA began severely limiting the scope of its investigation.
In 2012, EPA withdrew from any investigation of the air pathways of toxic gas release during fracking, despite hundreds of citizens living near wells reporting air pollution and a robust set of scientists confirming ill health consequences.
In 2013, EPA dropped its study of a marquee ground water contamination case in Dimock, Pennsylvania.
In 2013, EPA dropped its study of ground water contamination in Pavilion, Wyoming and Weatherford, Texas.
After retreating on measuring contamination in already fracked areas, EPA announced it would still conduct ‘prospective studies’ of new sites where baseline ground water data would be collected before fracking occurred. In 2014, EPA dropped all prospective studies.
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