The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a draft of its long-awaited study about fracking’s impacts on our drinking water—and ultimately our health. Despite finding several cases of water contamination, the EPA’s misleading publicity about the study trivialized its own findings.
From the start, pressure from the oil and gas industry shaped the EPA’s study design, which was based on limited, industry-controlled information. Yet even with these limitations, the EPA found multiple instances of drinking water polluted with fracking chemicals. But instead of highlighting these findings, the EPA declared in its own press release that fracking has “not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources.”
Predictably, countless media outlets parroted this misleading messaging. For example, The New York Times ran an article on the EPA’s draft study with the headline: “Report Finds No Effect on Water Supply From Fracking, but Warns of Potential.”
Unless the EPA stands behind its own findings and condemns the contamination of drinking water, the fracking industry will continue to declare that fracking is safe—all while poisoning our drinking water with toxic chemicals linked to breast cancer.
The EPA will finalize this study after scientific review and a public comment period ending on August 28.