The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) has reiterated its call for additional peer-reviewed study of the potential for hydraulic fracturing to contaminate ground water, while also applauding new federal efforts to coordinate relevant research.
“Additional studies, research and
monitoring related to the potential for ground water contamination from the
installation, hydraulic fracturing, operation, and maintenance of oil and gas
wells are needed, given the growing use of horizontal wells and hydraulic
fracturing,” says NGWA, drawing from its recent position paper on the subject.
On April 13, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and U.S. Departments of Energy and the Interior announced a
formal partnership to “coordinate and align all research associated with
development of our nation’s abundant unconventional natural gas and oil
resources.” The partnership is consistent with President Obama’s new
Interagency Working Group to Support Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional
Domestic Natural Gas Resources announced the same day.
“We applaud this effort to bring
coordination and focus to the federal government’s energy production-related
research to protect groundwater quality, particularly relating to hydraulic fracturing,”
says NGWA executive director Kevin McCray. “Sound science is indispensable to
responsible policy decisions regarding groundwater, and peer-reviewed study is
vital to sound science.”
“The greater use of horizontal wells and
hydraulic fracturing technology has the potential to significantly expand
natural gas and oil supplies and hold down prices; however, concomitant with
this enhanced production is the increased possibility for ground water
contamination,” NGWA states.
NGWA Calls for Additional Research on Hydraulic Fracturing
May 3, 2012