Hydraulic fracturing webcast series to offer fresh facts for critical choices

The Clean Water America Alliance and the American Water Resources Association will host a three-part webinar featuring experts and diversified perspectives on hydraulic fracturing...

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 25, 2011 -- The Clean Water America Alliance and the American Water Resources Association will host a three-part webinar featuring experts and diversified perspectives on hydraulic fracturing.

The series, called Hydraulic Fracturing: Fresh Facts and Critical Choices, will air on Nov. 1, 17 and December 1.

"The 'Shale Rush,' prompted by technology breakthroughs in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing over the last decade has raised significant questions about the footprint on the environment, impact to public health, and the roles of various government agencies" explains Alliance President Ben Grumbles. "Water is a particular concern with potential issues down under, downstream, or downwind. Especially now, as U.S. EPA seeks to develop rules on fracking, the water sector will want to develop a more in-depth and objective understanding on all aspects and consequences from objective sources."

Grumbles and Michael Campana (President of AWRA), will facilitate the expert panels and audience questions to shed more light and clarity on the fracking issue.

Webcast registration is $50 per site, per event, or $100 for all three one-hour sessions. Visit www.CleanWaterAmericaAlliance.org to register.

"With water and fracking, most of the risks are above ground rather than below ground," explains Grumbles. "It makes sense to help fill gaps and support state and local efforts to have safeguards in place. EPA's decision to use Clean Water Act authorities to establish standards and monitoring requirements could help drive pollution prevention efforts and new technologies to reuse wastewater and keep streams and rivers clean. To be successful, EPA will need to work extra hard to coordinate closely with state and local agencies, listen to the scientists, and avoid a rigid, one-size-fits-all approach. We're hoping this series of webcasts will better prepare the water sector and expand the perspective on hydraulic fracturing."

The first webcast on Nov. 1 is designed to present an overview of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), Christopher Harto of Argonne National Laboratories, Washington, DC, will describe the generic process with a focus on correct procedures for drilling and installation of wells, injection of fracking fluids, recovery of natural gas, and methods for disposal of recovered fracking fluids and formation water. Carol Collier of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) will discuss the proliferation of deep natural gas recovery wells in the DRBC, the opportunities and challenges these present for residents of the DRBC, and potential positive and negative impacts of this proliferation on the management of water and ecological resources in the DRBC.

The second webcast, on Nov. 17, will explore the potential footprint of hydraulic fracturing on ecosystems as well as safeguards state regulators are using and developing to protect ground water. Kevin Heatley with Biohabitats Inc., will discuss the significant landscape impact that can occur from drilling and fracturing operations and associated infrastructure systems on forests, wildlife, and habitat. Ground Water Protection Council's Mike Paque will describe efforts of state regulators to protect watersheds and improve public transparency through the establishment of a national registry on fracturing fluids.

On Dec. 1, the last webcast will discuss safeguards and concerns of natural gas recovery from deep shale formations. Dr. Donald Siegel of Syracuse University will discuss the extent of potential natural gas supplies in shale in the United States, and how drilling and recovery can be done safely without impacts to humans or ecosystems if adequate safeguards are employed throughout the process. Dr. Joseph Romm of the Center for American Progress will discuss possible impacts on humans and ecosystems if proper techniques for drilling and sealing of wells and recovery and storage/disposal of fracturing fluids and formation water are not in place of if accidents occur at any stage of the process.

For more information, contact Lorraine Loken at 202.533.1819 or email lloken@CWAA.org.

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