The EPA has already been caught cheating on this report. No doubt the agency will load up the “independent” panel with toadies for a whitewash.
The Hill reports,
The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking scientists to volunteer for what promises to be a closely watched job: reviewing its politically explosive report about groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing in a Wyoming natural-gas field.
The report found that chemicals found in groundwater likely stem from hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” the controversial drilling method that’s enabling a gas production boom but bringing pollution fears along with it. The process involves high-pressure injections of water, sand and chemicals to break apart rocks formations to enable trapped oil-and-gas to flow.
EPA’s draft finding, if borne out, would undercut industry claims that there’s no evidence of fracking polluting groundwater.
That would hand ammunition to environmentalists seeking tougher federal regulation of fracking, including the repeal of a 2005 law that exempts fracking from Safe Drinking Water Act underground injection rules.
But EPA’s testing methods have faced heavy criticism from industry groups and other fracking advocates that call the report badly flawed.
The upcoming Federal Register notice seeks scientists and engineers with expertise in petroleum geology, hydrology, geophysics and other fields.