But many companies, particularly those drilling in the vast Marcellus Shale region in the eastern U.S., already have disclosed the substances they use. Some even list the compounds on their websites.
The chemical cocktails had been kept secret for years, but industry leaders have argued that the reason was to keep competitors from simply copying the most effective mixtures.
They also argue that it’s too soon to put much stock in the EPA’s Pavillion report.
“Environmental protection is critical to our industry. And we are confident that as the critical peer-review process moves forward, scientists and engineers on the ground in Wyoming will be able to secure more facts. However, it is entirely too early in this process, given the lack of peer-reviewed data, to arrive at any kind of absolute conclusions,” said Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, which represents companies drilling in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and surrounding states in the Marcellus, one of the world’s largest known gas deposits.
Thursday’s report is the precursor to a much broader fracking study that the EPA plans to release next year. The agency is monitoring hydraulic fracturing operations in DeSoto Parish, La., and Washington County, Pa., the heart of the Marcellus region. The EPA is also conducting five “retrospective case studies” in North Dakota, Texas, Colorado and two sites in Pennsylvania, where fracking is suspected to have polluted drinking water.
The report also will be subject to public comment and review, and the final version of the study isn’t due until 2014.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ben Wolfgang is a national reporter for The Washington Times. Before coming to the Times, he spent four years as a political reporter in Pennsylvania. His focus is on education and science policy. Ben lives in southeast D.C. and has played guitar in several bands while still in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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