Hydraulic fracturing case study locations selected

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WASHINGTON, DC, June 23, 2011 -- The U.S. EPA has identified seven case study sites as the next step in its congressionally mandated hydraulic fracturing study. The sites will help the agency assess potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. EPA will begin field work in some of the selected regions this summer.

The studies will take place in regions across the country and will be broken into two study groups. The first, comprising two of the sites, will be monitored for key aspects of the hydraulic fracturing process throughout the lifecycle of a well. These sites are located in Haynesville Shale (DeSoto Parish, LA) and Marcellus Shale (Washington County, PA).

The second group, comprising five retrospective case studies, will examine areas where hydraulic fracturing has occurred for any impact on drinking water resources. These are located in Bakken Shale (Kildeer, and Dunn Counties, ND); Barnett Shale (Wise and Denton Counties, Texas); Marcellus Shale (Bradford and Susquehanna Counties, PA); Marcellus Shale (Washington County, PA); and Raton Basin (Las Animas County, CO).

EPA will use information gathered from these case studies in conjunction with literature review, collection of data and information from states, industry and communities, laboratory work and computer modeling, to develop a comprehensive assessment of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources.

The draft study plan and additional information: http://www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing

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