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Report says EPA should protect water from fracking

BECKLEY, W.Va. — The watchdog arm of the Environmental Protection Agency found the agency is not doing enough to protect the country’s water resources from possible hazardous effects of hydraulic fracturing, a report released Friday found.

Specifically, the Office of Inspector General wrote the agency needs to get tougher on the unlicensed use of diesel fuel in fracking and decide whether to mandate public disclosure of fracking chemicals.

 “The EPA needs to improve oversight of permit issuance for hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels and address any related compliance issues,” a summary of the report reads. “Second, the EPA needs to develop a plan for responding to public concerns about chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing … A plan outlining the agency’s next steps would inspire public confidence that the agency is indeed taking action to evaluate disclosure option within a defined timeframe.”

The report found that with advanced technologies, fracking has become much more common in the industry. In seven years, production of oil and natural gas has gone from 15.5 billion cubic feet per day to 40.5 billion cubic feet per day in 2014.

The report states a number of methane gas releases have been documented during fracking leaching into drinking water.

Well construction, chemical mixing and several other practices used in the oil and natural gas sector threaten surface and ground water, the report found…


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