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Waste water standards announced for fracking

Published On: 10/25/2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced he development of standards for waste water disposal related to “fracking”.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a schedule for the development of waste water disposal standards related to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, a drilling technique for natural gas extraction. This natural gas removal occurs in underground coal beds and shale formations; currently, shale formation extractions have increased from nearly zero to nearly 15% of the US natural gas production over the last few years.

The development of standards will focus on cleaner fracking waste water, a briny, chemical-filled water that comes out of fracking wells before it is sent to local waste water treatment plants. Currently there are no standards for disposal of water associated with fracking; some water has previously been injected underground or recycled but much of the water was sent to treatment plants ill-equipped to treat the waste. These new standards are in response to concerns of potential impacts of water quality and quantity. “We can protect the health of American families and communities at the same time we ensure access to all of the important resources that make up our energy economy. The American people expect and deserve nothing less.” said EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

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