On Thursday December 8, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft report on their study of the groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming near a fracking site.
Hydraulic fracturing is the process of releasing natural gas from shale by injecting water mixed with sand and chemicals to break apart the rock. The process has been under scrutiny lately, as environmentalists fear the presence of these chemicals in drinking water and groundwater.
The study by the EPA last week revealed the presence of chemicals in the groundwater.
Financial Post reprinted parts of the draft report, which states:
“EPA constructed two deep monitoring wells to sample water in the aquifer…ground water in the aquifer contains compounds associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing.”
The report goes on to say that the drinking water had amounts of chemicals that fell below safety standards and that had not changed from 2010.
Encana Oil & Gas, part of Encana Corp (NYSE: ECA), however, was unhappy with the EPA’s publicized results. The company publicly faulted the government report.
As the Financial Post says, Encana was upset that this draft report was even released to the media before “third-party, scientific verification” had occurred.
According to Encana, the study was faulted anyway. The EPA’s monitoring wells were significantly deeper than groundwater wells—about two-thirds deeper.
Of course there would be chemicals and natural gas present when you dig that deep, the company argued.
Globe and Mail reports Encana’s response:
“Natural gas developers didn’t put the natural gas at the bottom of the EPA’s deep monitoring wells, nature did.”
Encana believes that the EPA has not yet submitted its report for peer review, as the Wall Street Journal reports. The company urges the agency to do so, and Encana believes this is entirely necessary for the report to merit any validity.
That’s all for now,