July 22: EPA Hearing on Hydraulic Fracturing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a series of four public information meetings to obtain public input on the EPA's upcoming research study investigating the potential adverse impact that hydraulic fracturing may have on water quality and public health. Here in Southwestern PA, they are coming to Canonsburg, in Washington County. (Other meetings will be held in Fort Worth, Texas on July 8, Denver, Colorado on July 13, and Binghamton, NY on August 12)

In March 2010, EPA announced that it will study the potential adverse impact that hydraulic fracturing may have on drinking water. In developing the study, EPA is holding a series of meetings to receive public input about specific drinking water, human health, or environmental concerns that need to be factored into the study. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that helps production of natural gas or oil from shale and other geological formations. By pumping fracturing fluids (water and chemical additives) and sand or other similar materials into rock formations, fractures are created that allow natural gas or oil to flow from the rock through the fractures to a production well for extraction. The meetings will provide public information about the proposed study scope and design. EPA will solicit public comments on the draft study plan.

To support the initial planning phase and guide the development of the study plan, the agency sought suggestions and comments from the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB)—an independent, external federal advisory committee. The agency will use this advice and extensive stakeholder/public input to guide the design of the study.

EPA requests that citizens who are interested in attending to pre-register by Monday, July 19

Call 1-866-477-3635 toll free to register. Or register on-line at: http://hfmeeting.cadmusweb.com .

Those wishing to contribute comments to EPA regarding the proposed hydraulic fracturing research study may also submit electronic comments to EPA at hydraulic.fracturing@epa.gov ; or send written comments to:

Jill Dean

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Mail code 4606M

Washington, DC 20460.

6pm-10pm at the Southpointe Hilton Garden Inn, 1000 Corporate Drive, Canonsburg, Pa 15317. For more information on the meetings: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/uic/wells_hydrofrac.html or contact Enesta Jones at 202-564-7873 or 202-564-4355. To learn more about Marcellus shale drilling, check out this comprehensive MSD web site.

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