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House Dems push EPA on fracking study

House Dems push EPA on fracking study
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A group of House Democrats on Thursday urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider a major agency report on hydraulic fracturing and drinking water.

A draft version of the EPA’s study concluded last year that fracking doesn't have a major impact on drinking water supplies around the country. 

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In August, the agency’s independent Science Advisory Board said the agency should bolster its report and “provide quantitative analysis that supports its conclusion that hydraulic fracturing has not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.”

The board called the report “comprehensive but lacking in several critical areas,” and said it needs to be clarified and present more evidence to back up its conclusions.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal after pushback The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - US vaccine effort takes hit with Johnson & Johnson pause Overnight Energy: Michigan reps reintroduce measure for national 'forever chemicals' standard |  White House says gas tax won't be part of infrastructure bill MORE on Thursday, more than 50 Democrats, led by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), said the agency should follow the board’s advice before finalizing the fracking study.

“We urge you to accept the recommendations of the EPA Science Advisory Board’s extensive review of the draft Assessment Report and ask that the agency finalizes the draft Assessment Report before the end of the year,” the letter said. 

“Demand for ample, clean water supplies is only going to grow. Threats to clean water access impact current generations as well as those that follow.”

EPA’s fracking study, which came after five years of research, was viewed as a major victory for the oil and gas industry, a sector that has long downplayed environmentalists' warnings about fracking’s safety.

Greens pushed back, however, and have used the Advisory Board’s recommendations as their main ammunition against the conclusions in the draft study.