CEC Urges “Maximum Care” on Fracking Rules in Wake of EPA Announcement Today

DENVER—The Colorado Environmental Coalition today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for declaring publicly that fracking may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution in Wyoming. “Industry likes to say contamination from fracking is inconceivable,” said CEC energy organizer Charlie Montgomery. “The EPA's finding tells a different story, that contamination is a very real possibility and that communities today might be dealing with the fallout right now. While the announcement isn’t full confirmation of a missing link, the announcement suggests this is the time for maximum care and caution in how Colorado regulates fracking in our state.

”Fracking is short-hand for hydraulic fracturing and involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil or gas to the surface.

The EPA found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath Pavillion, Wyoming. Residents there say their water reeks of chemicals. Local health officials there have cautioned to not drink from the water supply. The industry has long contended that fracking is safe and poses no risk. According to a story from the Associated Press today, the EPA announcement is the first step in a process of opening up its findings for review by the public and other scientists. The EPA emphasized that the findings are specific to the Pavillion area. In Colorado, regulators are considering requiring oil and gas companies to publicly disclose the chemicals used in fracking.

The public and industry representatives packed an 11-hour hearing before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission over the issue on Monday, Dec. 5. One key issue is whether trade secrets would have to be disclosed and how quickly the information would have be turned over. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is scheduled to deliberate the proposed rules on Monday, Dec. 12.

About The Colorado Environmental Coalition Colorado Environmental Coalition unites Coloradans to protect our natural heritage and quality of life. Every year, the Coalition mobilizes scores of organizations and hundreds of individuals who, like you, care deeply about Colorado. From soccer moms to steelworkers, from students to ranchers, from commuters to backpackers enjoying the world-famous Rocky Mountains, the Coalition's membership is as diverse as our state.

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