Industry is committed to making continuous improvements and using the latest technology to recycle water and use nonpotable water, Marty Durbin, president and chief executive officer of America’s Natural Gas Alliance, said in response to a government agency’s draft about water and hydraulic fracturing.
The US Environmental Protection Agency said it found no widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources from fracturing. The long-anticipated draft assessment was submitted for widespread review.
“Our industry is committed to continuous improvement as evidenced by advances in a host of technologies,” Durbin said. “The natural gas community will continue to work with states to ensure the safe and responsible development of our nation’s abundant and affordable natural gas resource.”
ANGA works with industry, government, and stakeholders to promote increased demand for and continued availability of gas.
US Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the study identifies ways to ensure the safety of drinking water.
“Today’s study confirms what we already know. Hydraulic fracturing, when done to industry standards, does not impact drinking water,” Murkowski said. “States have been effectively regulating hydraulic fracturing for more than 40 years and this study is evidence of that.”
Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the EPA draft assessment showed a federal rule on fracturing “would only stand in the way of the successful work that states have been doing to regulate this process. “
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed a rule on hydraulic fracturing for onshore drilling for leases involving federal and tribal land (OGJ Online, Mar. 20, 2015).
Separately, the Environmental Defense Fund noted that fracturing is one risk factor to water resources.
“But in fact it’s not the biggest one. Ongoing physical integrity of the wells and handling the millions of gallons of wastewater coming back to the surface after [fracing], over the lifetime of each well, are even bigger challenges,” said Mark Brownstein, EDF vice-president, climate and energy program.
“Water pollution from surface leaks and spills during the storage, transport, and disposal of hydraulic fracturing wastewater happen all too frequently,” Brownstein said. “These are issues we need to be paying closer attention to if we want to reduce the incidence of water and land pollution from oil and gas development.”