June 20, 2013
EPA also announces it will not rely on its 2011 conclusions linking groundwater contamination with hydraulic fracturing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and Representative Cynthia Lummis all R-Wyo., expressed support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to allow the State of Wyoming to oversee groundwater testing in rural Pavillion, Wyoming. EPA also announced it will not rely on the conclusions in its December 2011 draft report linking groundwater contamination in rural Pavillion with hydraulic fracturing.
“I’m pleased that the EPA finally recognizes Wyoming’s right to manage its water. Decisions about water quality should be made at the local level by those directly impacted. I thank Gov. Mead for his ability to work with both energy companies and the federal government to determine what steps are needed to ensure that the people of Pavillion have clean water,” said Sen. Enzi.
“EPA’s decision to not rely on premature conclusions in its 2011 draft report is a positive and wise step. I also welcome EPA’s decision to allow Wyoming to oversee the groundwater testing going forward. I am confident that our state agencies will work hard to get the people of Pavillion the answers they deserve,” said Sen. Barrasso.
“I tip my hat to Governor Mead for his diligent work on behalf of the people of Pavillion. And I don’t say this often, but I commend the EPA as well. Today they finally recognized that the very best place for their report on fracking in Pavillion is in the dust bin of history. The EPA can play a role in the important environmental work of our time, but they are at their best when they partner with states instead of running herd over them. I sincerely hope that they have learned a lesson from this experience,” said Rep. Lummis.
On December 8, 2011, EPA released a draft report on its groundwater investigation in rural Pavillion. In its report, EPA linked hydraulic fracturing to contamination of a drinking water aquifer in the area. Specifically, EPA’s draft report states that:
“…the explanation best fitting the data…is that constituents associated with hydraulic fracturing have been released into the Wind River drinking water aquifer…”
Today, the EPA announced:
“While EPA stands behind its work and data, the agency recognizes the State of Wyoming’s commitment for further investigation and efforts to provide clean water and does not plan to finalize or seek peer review of its draft Pavillion groundwater report released in December, 2011. Nor does the agency plan to rely upon the conclusions in the draft report.”