For the first time, the EPA this week officially linked fracking to groundwater pollution. The announcement is the first step in the process of the EPA opening up their findings to public review.
The announcement, which concerns the small community of Pavillion, Wyoming, could have nation-wide implications for fracking, the process of pumping a mixture of water and chemicals, at a very high rate of pressure, into the ground to release imbedded oil and gas. However, according to the EPA, the fracking methods being used in Pavillion are different than those used in the other states where fracking remains a contentious topic.
Furthermore, the presence of chemicals associated with fracking, could have come from other sources, says Doug Hock, a spokesman for Encana, the company that runs the Pavillion gas field. “Those could just have likely been brought about by contamination in their sampling process or construction of their well. … There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. This is a probability and is one we believe is incorrect.”
Hock is not the only critic of the EPA’s findings. The study was “not based on sound science but rather on political science,” according to Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.
While contamination is the primary obstacle for fracking, it is not the only one. Russell Gold and Ana Campoy of the Wall Street Journal bring light to another issue: the massive amounts of water being used.