The letter concludes, “It is incumbent upon you to correct your administration’s troubling abdication of responsibility and denial of the science on fracking and the harms it is posing to Americans across the country. As more than 250,000 Americans have already urged and the evidence compels, we ask that you swiftly act to re-open the EPA’s investigations in Texas, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.”
The EPA dropped similar investigations in Dimock, Pa., and Pavillion, Wyo. In Dimock, it has since been revealed that EPA dropped its investigation against the wishes of the Philadelphia EPA office, the agency that had been monitoring drinking water there.
In Pavillion, EPA abandoned its investigation even after linking high levels of chemicals, including benzene, to fracking, handing the investigation over to the state with ongoing research funded by EnCana, the same drilling corporation under investigation for the contamination.
Earlier this month, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy noted in a letter to the National Resources Defense Council, in response to its request to reopen and complete the three investigations, that it was not necessary to do so because residents affected by contamination could find alternative water supplies or treatment systems.
A recent Associated Press review found many confirmed cases of water contamination from fracking, noting that the review casts doubt on the industry’s assertion that fracking and drilling don’t affect drinking water supplies.
This builds on evidence from 2013 and 2011 Duke University studies that found systematic evidence that methane associated with shale gas extraction contaminates drinking water.
Moreover, a University of Missouri School of Medicine study released in December linked fracking to the presence of dangerous hormone-disrupting chemicals in the water near fracking sites, including the Colorado River.
The groups are calling on the Obama Administration to correct what they believe to be a troubling denial of the science on the effects of fracking. Late last year, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called on the oil and gas industry to clear up “confusion” about the effects of fracking, a call to action that troubled many fracking opponents, as it dismissed concerns about water pollution and climate change linked to the process.