EPA looks at wastewater from fracking

Oct. 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to regulate water from hydraulic fracturing and other natural gas production from shale.

Wastewater discharged by companies producing natural gas from shale formations, including chemically laced water used in the controversial extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, would be regulated under the EPA initiative, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The EPA announcement comes amid growing concern over the effect shale gas operations are having on local drinking water sources.

Companies often release water from the operations into municipal wastewater systems that lack the technology to completely remove the chemicals, salt and minerals before sending it into streams and other surface water, said Ben Grumbles, president of the Clean Water America Alliance.

Environmental groups said they welcomed the EPA announcement.

"The nation is in the midst of a fracking-fueled gas rush which is generating toxic wastewater faster than treatment plants can handle it," environmental law group Earthjustice said in a statement.

"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."

The EPA said it would propose final rules for wastewater from shale gas production in 2014.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Hurricane Katrina nine years later
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
Apple reportedly delays launch of rumored iWatch
New space debris monitoring facility set for Australia
Type Ia supernovas: the zombies of the cosmos
Trending News