December 9 2011
The report was hailed by the environmental community and industry watchdog groups, which proclaimed validation in their warnings that fracking can pollute drinking water near Pavillion and elsewhere in the nation. “For years the oil and gas industry has argued that there is no chance that fracking will contaminate ground water sources, but this report appears to be a smoking gun against that claim,” Western Resource Advocates’ lands program director Mike Chiropolos said in a prepared statement.
The oil and gas industry slammed the report as “reckless,” “unsubstantiated,” and “irresponsible.” In fact, state and industry officials had asked EPA to hold the draft report until an “independent peer review” was conducted, according to the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, because industry and state leaders had been compiling a list of concerns with EPA’s investigation.
The draft report is now available for a 45-day public comment period, after which a 30-day peer-review process will begin “by a panel of independent scientists,” according to EPA.