EPA announces final study plan to assess impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water

In early November, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it had finalized its plans to study the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water through an assessment directed by Congress.

Congress has requested that the EPA study the impact of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to ensure that the country can continue to utilize its vast natural gas resources in a responsible manner.

The final assessment follows the entire cycle of water through the fracking process, beginning where the water is acquired, continuing through what chemicals are mixed with the water, the actual process of fracturing, and how the water is managed after it has been used in natural gas extraction.

The plan allows the Obama administration to continue its work to ensure that the country can rely on natural gas as a clean source of energy for generations to come without jeopardizing the natural resources involved in its extraction.

According to standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for oil and gas well drilling, safety products must be utilized to ensure worker safety. Hard hats, safety glasses, work gloves, ear plugs, and other personal protective equipment always needs to be worn on the jobsite, while safety equipment, including lockout/tagout systems must be used when repairs and servicing are necessary.

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