Following Casey Request, EPA Announces Study of Natural Gas Drilling Sites in Pennsylvania

Hydraulic Fracturing Sites in Washington, Susquehanna and Bradford Counties to be Studied for Impact on Drinking Water

WASHINGTON, DC— Following a request by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today chose several sites in Pennsylvania to examine as part of an assessment of potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water.

“These studies will help provide the science needed to assure that natural gas drilling is conducted in a safe and responsible manner,” said Senator Casey. “Natural gas drilling offers Pennsylvania tremendous economic opportunities if we do it right. However, we must protect against potential repercussions that could harm the environment, put people at risk and ultimately hurt businesses and Pennsylvania’s economy.”

The sites chosen to be examined in Pennsylvania are part of a congressionally directed study which will examine seven sites around the country.

A site in Washington County will be studied before any drilling occurs in order to gather data on all aspects of hydraulic fracturing throughout the lifecycle of the well.

Sites in Bradford, Washington and Susquehanna Counties where hydraulic fracturing has already taken place were selected as retrospective case studies to be assessed for any impacts on drinking water resources.

Senator Casey has introduced three fracking-related bills to protect Pennsylvanians and promote jobs for Pennsylvanians. The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act would repeal a Bush administration exemption provided for the oil and gas industry and would require companies to disclose the chemicals they use in their hydraulic fracturing processes.

Senator Casey’s Marcellus Shale On-the-Job Training Act would authorize grants to strengthen the On-the-Job Training programs to help ensure natural gas drilling jobs go to Pennsylvanians and not workers from out-of-state, and his Faster Action Safety Team Emergency Response (FASTER) Act provides the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the ability to enhance emergency response procedures at oil and gas wells.