Mining, Fracking and Drinking Water

June 26, 2015


A new report released earlier this month says fracking does not pose a widespread risk to drinking water.


According to the report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fracking for shale oil and gas has not led to widespread pollution of drinking water.


The report does warn that some drilling activities could potentially cause health risks. According to the study, fracking could contaminate drinking water under certain conditions, such as when fluids used in the fracking process leak into the water table. The EPA says isolated cases of water contamination were discovered.


Here's a refresher on fracking: it is the term often used for hydraulic fracturing, the process in which sand, water and chemicals are injected underground to crack open rock formations that are potentially holding natural gas and oil.


The practice is controversial. Many environmental groups oppose the process because of possible risks to the environment.


There have been lots of reports debating on whether fracking possesses a danger to drinking water.


Energy groups say this latest report from the EPA echo earlier studies by the energy department and the U.S. Geological survey.


It's probably naïve to think this is the end of the argument. The business of mining is hard work. The process is made better by reliable equipment.