U.S. Congress Watchdog Urges EPA to Boost Its Enforcement of Fracking Activities

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U.S. Congress Watchdog Urges EPA to Boost Its Enforcement of Fracking ActivitiesThe U.S. Congress investigative unit requested the federal Environmental Protection Agency to scale up its enforcement of seismic activity and groundwater supplies pollution linked to fracking.

The Government Accountability Office, in a report published on Monday, said that EPA’s lacks enough resources and capacity to monitor drilling activities and that it relies on outdated guidance. The issue should be viewed as important since fracking activity is on an increase, reported the LA Times.

“Every day in the United States, at least 2 billion gallons of fluids are injected into over 172,000 wells to enhance oil and gas production, or to dispose of fluids brought to the surface during the extraction of oil and gas resources,” the GAO said. “These wells are subject to regulation to protect drinking water sources under EPA’s UIC class II program and approved state class II programs. Because much of the population relies on underground sources for drinking water, these wells have raised concerns about the safety of the nation’s drinking water.”

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In response to the report, the EPA approved GAO’s findings, which were also applauded by environmental activists.

Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is a technique that involves blasting a high pressure fluid containing fine sand, chemicals and water to fracture oil and natural gas-bearing rocks to release the trapped fossil fuel, which is then extracted. This method has been blamed for polluting groundwater supplies and increasing the risk of earthquakes and seismic activities.

The GAO reported that the EPA allows 39 states to oversee their own supervision activities, with the watchdog assuming direct responsibility for others and activities involving pumping fluids into wells. The GAO researched 8 states; six with their own programs and two directly supervised by the EPA, when preparing its report.To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com