EPA Turns Eye To Controversial Drilling Technique

It’s been a while since we updated you about the gas drilling in an area watershed, which is opposed by Assemblyman William Colton. Locally, drillers sit in limbo. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wrapped up its public comment period and is reviewing the testimony to decide whether to allow hydraulic fracturing – the controversial process to extract gas.

But nationally, the technique is being scrutinized for its potentially devastating environmental effects, especially to local water supplies. The Environmental Protection Agency is responding to concerns from the scientific community, and is allocating $1.9 million for the study.

From an EPA press release:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will conduct a comprehensive research study to investigate the potential adverse impact that hydraulic fracturing may have on water quality and public health. Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy future and the process known as hydraulic fracturing is one way of accessing that vital resource. There are concerns that hydraulic fracturing may impact ground water and surface water quality in ways that threaten human health and the environment. To address these concerns and strengthen our clean energy future and in response to language inserted into the fiscal year 2010 Appropriations Act, EPA is re-allocating $1.9 million for this comprehensive, peer-reviewed study for FY10 and requesting funding for FY11 in the president’s budget proposal.

So while the state decides on whether or not to permit hydraulic fracturing within spitting distance of our water supply, the federal government is finally considering the dangers it poses. Let’s hope they both come to the conclusion that messing with the drinking water of millions of people is just too risky.