EPA releases first part of fracking study, an analysis of chemical disclosure

Hydraulic Fracking WellThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is starting to release its long-awaiting study on the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The complete report is expected to be released later this spring.

The study ran from January, 2011 to February, 2013

The first part of the report that has been released says that less than 1% of the fluid used in the fracking operation contained additives in their analysis of 39,000 wells. 

The report stated, “The agency identified 692 separate frack water ingredients. Maximum concentrations of these chemicals were usually below 2 percent of the total mass, while half of the chemicals were below 0.3 percent of mass. The chemicals that were found to be the most present in the wells were hydrochloric acid, methanol, and hydro-treated light petroleum distillates. Hydrochloric acid is used to keep the well casings free of mineral build-ups, while methanol is used to increase viscosity. Petroleum distillates are refined products like diesel, kerosene, or fuel oil, and are used to make the fluid “slick,” or soapy, and thereby reduce friction.”

The full EPA report will address the questions regarding the toxicity of the chemicals that were found in the water.

Once again, the release of this information about fracking points to the need for well owners to take some matters into their own hands if they want to be sure they and their family are drinking safe, clean well water. 

We urge well owners living near a fracking well operation to test their well water and use it as a ‘baseline test’. Then, on at least an annually basis, they should have their well water tested to see if any contaminants are beginning to show up. If they are found, the well owner should observe their level of concentration over time to see if it growing. This information enables the well owner to put the right filtration treatment in place to make their water safe and clean.

Learn more about well water testing at Drinking Water Specialists

You can read the original article about this report here.

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