Making sense of EPA’s frack water analysis

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    A worker monitors pressurized testing at a Cabot Oil & Gas fracking site in Harford Township

    A worker monitors pressurized testing at a Cabot Oil & Gas fracking site in Harford Township

    StateImpact Pennsylvania Reporter Susan Phillips sat down with NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller to discuss the first part of the EPA’s frack study, released Friday.

    The Environmental Protection Agency released an analysis of frack water today, based on data that drillers supplied to the website FracFocus. The EPA’s report is just one part of the agency’s long awaited fracking study, which will assess the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water supplies. The full report is due out this spring.

    The EPA researchers say less than one percent of frack fluid in their analysis of 39,000 wells contained additives.  Water made up 88 percent of the fluid, and sand, or quartz, made up ten percent. The agency identified 692 separate frack water ingredients. Maximum concentrations of these chemicals were usually below 2 percent of the total mass, while half of the chemicals were below 0.3 percent of mass. EPA science advisor Tom Burke told reporters on a conference call that the chemical additives and volumes of water varied greatly from well to well. Water usage for each fracked well ranged from 35,000 gallons to 7.2 million gallons.

    Click through to read the full story on StateImpact Pennsylvania.

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