"A panel of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency science advisers is strongly criticizing last year’s much-cited EPA report that agency officials had tried to tout as finding that the nation’s natural gas drilling and production boom had not led to “widespread, systematic” impacts on drinking water supplies.
In a draft report, an EPA Science Advisory Board panel express concerns that “regarding the clarity and adequacy of support for several major findings” presented in an EPA Office of Research and Development assessment of the natural gas industry’s effects on drinking water quantity and quality. The panel warned that some of the major findings “are inconsistent with the observations, data, and levels of uncertainty presented and discussed” in the report.
Of particular concern, the panel said, was a statement in the assessment’s executive summary that EPA “did not find evidence that hydraulic fracturing mechanisms have led to widespread, systematic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”
The science panel said it was concerned that the statement “does not reflect the uncertainties and data limitations” described in the full EPA study. The science board is reviewing the EPA assessment before it is finalized."