Fracking Not 'Widespread' Threat to Drinking Water, Says EPA

Fracking Not 'Widespread' Threat to Drinking Water, Says EPA

By: Julia Deng
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A new report released Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency backs up what oil and gas experts throughout the Permian Basin have said for decades: fracking has not polluted our drinking water.

The long-awaited study, which analyzed state, federal and peer-reviewed data, concluded that hydraulic fracturing has not had "widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water sources."

"In fact, the number of documented impacts to drinking water is relatively low when compared to the number of fractured wells," said EPA administrator Thomas Burke.

Morris Burns, a Midland-based oil consultant and former Executive Director of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, told NewsWest 9 the findings of the EPA study did not surprise him, and blamed politics for conflicting reports about the effects of fracking.

"There has been groundwater contamination from oil field activity, but never from fracturing," he explained. "We're fracturing [more than] 10,000 feet down... and then we turn horizontal and go out another two miles. So we're four or five miles from any fresh water. The liberals just don't want us to frack."

New York and Maryland both recently enacted outright fracking bans.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said in a statement to NewsWest 9, "After years of demonization from opponents, the Administration has confirmed what we in Texas have known all along: fracking is a safe and reliable way to take advantage of our vast domestic energy resources. But in order to truly harness our energy potential the Obama Administration must get out of the way and let the private sector grow our economy and create jobs, just like we've done in Texas."