OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA: No major harm to drinking water from fracking

FRACKING CLEARED, MOSTLY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday that it found no "widespread, systemic" drinking water contamination problems from hydraulic fracturing, but the oil and natural gas industry isn't completely in the clear.

While the EPA referred to its nearly 1,000-page study as the most comprehensive analysis of the drinking water impacts from fracking to date, it acknowledged multiple limitations with the research. Chief among them was that researchers relied heavily on the industry for their data.

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"We feel very confident in our conclusions about identifying key vulnerabilities," EPA science adviser Thomas Burke told reporters Thursday. "The study was not, nor was it intended to be, an empirical catalogue of all incidents of contamination."

That kind of limitation spurred Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, to declare that the research "falls far short of the level of scrutiny and government oversight needed to protect the health and safety of the millions of American people."

The study also documented numerous cases of groundwater or drinking water contamination from fracking and related activities, including some well casing structures that were compromised from the fracking process itself, Burke said.

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ON TAP FRIDAY I: The Environmental And Energy Study Institute will host a discussion on how states can comply with the Clean Power Plan. Officials from national regulatory associations will speak.

ON TAP FRIDAY II: The D.C. Green Festival will start Friday and stretch through Sunday at the Washington Convention Center. Friday's speakers will include Public Citizen President Robert Weissman and The Nation's Washington editor Zoe Carpenter.

NEWS BITE:

Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizWhat we learned from the first Green New Deal Overnight Energy: GOP pushes back on climate | 2018 was fourth hottest year on record | Park Service reverses on using fees Pompeo: Kerry's conversations with Iran 'unseemly and unprecedented' MORE met with three top Kentucky Republicans -- Sens. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGreen New Deal Resolution invites big picture governing ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault MORE and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulBusiness, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week MORE and Rep. Ed WhitfieldWayne (Ed) Edward WhitfieldWhy Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? Overnight Energy: Green group sues Exxon over climate science MORE -- on Thursday to discuss the Department of Energy's (DOE) work at the state's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. 

Kentucky lawmakers have long pushed for more funding to clean up the site, which produced enriched uranium for nuclear power plants for more than 60 years. 

The three Kentucky Republicans said Thursday that the DOE, which owns the facility and has overseen clean-up operations since the plant closed in 2013, must develop a long-term plan for the site. 

"It is crucial that DOE develop a long-term strategy for the site to ensure that ongoing deactivation work and future decontamination and decommissioning work is done properly and executed in a timely manner," they said in a statement. "The DOE must maximize the resources it has been provided to promote job growth and preservation in Paducah, and we remain dedicated to ensuring that DOE commits to a long-term plan."  

AROUND THE WEB:

Federal inspectors with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration concluded that the Santa Barbara County, Calif., oil pipeline that ruptured and leaked oil into the Pacific Ocean last month was corroded, the Los Angeles Times reports. Meanwhile, the state is trying to figure out if tar balls washing up in Long Beach, more than 100 miles away, are related to the spill.

Environmental activists protested at the New Jersey statehouse Thursday against Gov. Chris Christie's (R) settlement deal with Exxon Mobil Corp. for pollution at refineries, the Star-Ledger reports.

The United Kingdom's new energy secretary will soon propose cutting back on a generous subsidy program for wind farms, the Telegraph reports

The former chairman of Royal Dutch Shell said moves to divest from fossil fuel companies are a "rational" response to the industry's positions on climate change, the Guardian reports.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

Check out Thursday's stories ...

-Georgetown to divest endowment from coal companies
-Federal study: No 'pause' in global warming
-EPA gives Republicans new ammo in fight against fracking regs 
-EPA: Fracking not causing major harm to drinking water 
-West Virginia Republicans urge governor to reject climate rules
-Pope's environment encyclical due on June 18
-Oil exports may do little to help Eastern Europe, report says
-Turbulence ahead for EPA on airplane pollution cuts

Please send tips and comments to Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com; and Devin Henry, dhenry@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Timothy_Cama@dhenry@thehill