For Release: Thursday, June 4, 2015
DEC Statement on EPA High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Assessment
Statement Attributable to DEC Spokesperson Tom Mailey:
The EPA's review focused on impacts to water resources related to high-volume hydraulic fracturing, while the state review was much broader -- examining impacts to air, water, public health, ecosystems, wildlife and community character. Our review identified many potential significant adverse impacts.
As the EPA said, states are in the best position to make decisions regarding high-volume hydraulic fracturing. In December, the DOH Report concluded that HVHF should not move forward in New York State. DEC will release its Findings Statement shortly consistent with this position.
EPA's draft study identifies numerous vulnerabilities and uncertainties associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing that could impact valuable water resources. The report confirms hundreds of HVHF-related spills and drinking water contamination resulted from poorly constructed wells.
EPA found 457 HVHF-related spills over six years, but acknowledges that there is uncertainty about how many more may have occurred. Most were spills of flowback and produced water and due to human error. Of the total spills, 300 reached an "environmental receptor" such as surface water or groundwater.
EPA also acknowledged that numerous factors limited the certainty of the draft report, including insufficient pre- and post-fracking groundwater data and a lack of long-term systematic studies.