What They’re Saying About New Study on EPA’s Misguided Pavillion, Wyo. Claims

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Jeff Eshelman / Julia Bell
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For Immediate Release
May, 18 2012

IPAA Vice President of Government Relations Lee Fuller: “Unfortunately the EPA has continued to miss the mark

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)-commissioned report further eviscerates EPA’s previous claims — which have been roundly discredited — that hydraulic fracturing and natural gas development activities impact groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming. Performed by S.S. Papadopulos & Associates (SSP&A), a leading groundwater and hydrogeology consulting firm with more than 30 years of experience, the new study found the EPA’s draft report lacking to say the least. And as EPA’s findings are questioned, refuted, and disproven time and again – from Parker Co., Texas to Dimock, Pennsylvania – the role and effectiveness of federal regulations on historically state regulated practices is brought further into question.

Here’s what they’re saying about the independent review:

  • Study Slams EPA’s Draft Fracking Report On Wyoming Water Pollution. The report finds the EPA lacked baseline and background data including naturally occurring methane and other hydrocarbon levels, faulted “poor study design,” found the EPA’s conclusions are based on a total of four samples, and that the EPA study failed to adequately address “the original project aims of determining the source of taste and odor complaints in residential wells.”…”Through this review, the science speaks for itself,” said Lee Fuller, IPAA vice president of government relations. “Unfortunately, the EPA has continued to miss the mark with its draft report. We encourage EPA to work with the State of Wyoming and the U.S. Geological Survey, among other stakeholders, to re-examine the two EPA monitoring wells for their suitability to this study’s objectives and to credibly investigate likely sources of potential constituents of concern while adopting strict scientific standards and avoiding guesswork. (International Business Times, 5/16/12)
  • Study Says EPA Finding in Pavillion, WY, ‘Unsupported’. The EPA’s data and analysis did not support the conclusion linking water contamination in Pavillion, WY, to chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, according to a new analysis released Wednesday…”Through this [latest] review, the science speaks for itself. Unfortunately the EPA has continued to miss the mark with its draft report,” said IPAA’s Lee Fuller, vice president of government relations…”It is our hope that this study’s flaws will challenge and guide the agency toward better methodology and reporting in the future,” he said. (NGI’s Shale Daily, 5/18/12)
  • EPA wrong about fracking contamination. “EPA’s study design was not sufficient to gather the data, nor draw the conclusions it asserts,” reads the beginning of the review’s conclusions… Asked why the IPAA contracted for this study, given plans for the upcoming high-profile peer review, Eshelman said the IPAA saw some urgency. He referred to Dimock, Pa., and Parker County, Texas, where initial suggestions of contamination of groundwater by recent oil and gas activity have been either found untrue or withdrawn. “This is our basic review of the EPA report, but it also lays the foundation for how we think science should be the priority in any EPA report,” he said.  (State Journal, 5/16/12)
  • Review faults EPA draft report on Pavillion contamination. SSP&A found that EPA did not effectively distinguish between naturally occurring methane and other conditions, and the effects of drilling and fracturing activities in its analysis. The consultant cited poor study design, lack of baseline and background data, analytical concerns that lead to incorrect conclusions, “serious errors” in the construction, development and sampling of monitoring wells and lack of suitable samples. EPA must conduct additional work, the consultant said, “including additional well development and sampling, based on an improved study design that accounts for the hydrogeologic conditions of the sampling area, realistic potential migration pathways and the presence of pre-existing, naturally occurring petroleum compounds and other constituents.” (Platts, 5/16/12)
  • Independent review finds EPA Pavillion report lacks data. An independent review of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s draft report on water near Pavillion, Wyo., concluded scientific analysis fails to support EPA’s suggestion that hydraulic fracturing possibly contributed to water contamination, the Independent Petroleum Association of America reported. Groundwater and hydrogeology consultant S.S. Papadopulos & Associates Inc. (SSPA), Bethesda, Md., concluded in its independent review that EPA used unapproved analytical methods and improperly conducted various field procedures and misinterpreted data. “Unfortunately, the EPA has continued to miss the mark with its draft report. We encourage EPA to work with the state of Wyoming and the US Geological Survey, among other stakeholders, to reexamine the two EPA monitoring wells,” said Lee Fuller, IPAA Vice President of Government Relations. (Oil and Gas Journal, 5/15/12)