EPA request for information related to hydraulic fracturing study to close November 15

The deadline for submitting information to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its ongoing study on hydraulic fracturing is November 15, 2013.

Although such information was originally due on April 30, 2013, EPA extended the deadline to “ensure that [it] is up-to-date on evolving hydraulic fracturing practices and technologies.”

Notice of the deadline extension was published in the Federal Register. It is expected that the extension will not delay release of the final report in 2014.

Although EPA is conducting a “thorough literature search,” it solicited additional information from the public in an attempt to also gather and review “studies or other primary technical sources that are not available through the open literature.”

Specifically, EPA asked “interested persons” to provide “scientific analyses, studies, and other pertinent scientific information, preferably information which has undergone scientific peer review.”

EPA has stated that it will consider all submissions but that preference will be given to peer-reviewed data and literature sources.

EPA issued a progress report on its hydraulic fracturing study in December 2012, after holding five technical roundtables in November 2012.

The progress report stated that EPA is conducting 18 research projects on the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water and reviewing data on fracking fluids, well construction, chemical spills, and water quality from wells around the country.

The progress report is discussed in our February 27, 2013 blog post, EPA Technical Roundtables Concerning Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources.

This article was prepared by Lauren Brogdon (lauren.brogdon@nortonrosefulbright.com or 713 651 5375) from Norton Rose Fulbright's Energy Practice Group.