House Republicans seek to force changes in EPA ‘fracking’ study

The House Science Committee will mark up legislation Thursday that forces the Environmental Protection Agency to alter its ongoing study of the effects of oil-and-gas “fracking” on drinking water resources.

Chairman Lamar Smith’s (R-Texas) bill would require the major, years-long study to include “objective estimates of the probability, uncertainty and consequence of each identified impact, taking into account the risk management practices of states and industry.”

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Smith, who last week accused EPA of trying to undercut gas production enabled by fracking, has expressed concern that the EPA study would describe risks without providing enough information on their context or probability.

The bill before the committee Thursday states:

“Estimates or descriptions of probability, uncertainty, and consequence shall be as quantitative as possible given the validity, accuracy, precision, and other quality attributes of the underlying data and analyses, but no more quantitative than the data and analyses can support.”