The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kathleen Sutcliffe, Earthjustice, (202) 797-5235

EPA Announces It Will Protect Rivers, Streams, Drinking Water from Fracking Wastewater

Groups applaud proposal as a much-needed public health protection


Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson announced today the agency would set guidelines limiting wastewater pollution from gas development, including the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

The move comes after attorneys at Earthjustice sent a request to the agency on behalf of 63 groups across the country, urging the agency to expand an ongoing study of one form of natural gas mining--coalbed methane extraction--to include oil and gas development and fracking in its study.

Some of the chemicals in fracking fluids are known carcinogens and the health effects of many additives are not fully understood, in large part because industry officials have refused to disclose precisely what they are using.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg.

"We applaud the Environmental Protection Agency for announcing it will limit wastewater pollution from gas development, including the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

"The nation is in the midst of a fracking-fueled gas rush which is generating toxic wastewater faster than treatment plants can handle it. The EPA's proposal is a common sense solution for this growing public health problem and will help keep poisons out of our rivers, streams, and drinking water.

"These protections should be implemented right away. The millions of Americans who depend on drinking water that comes from the gasfields can't wait much longer."

Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations, coalitions and communities.