Hydraulic fracturing is a process in which large volumes of water, sand, and chemicals are injected at high pressure to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations, and it’s currently under review. The EPA has submitted a draft study plan to the Science Advisory Board (SAB) in order to analyze how this practice could be better understood, and the impacts hydraulic fracturing could have.
The hydraulic fracturing process creates fractures in formations allowing natural gas and oil to escape into the well and be recovered, and has expanded to a wide diversity of geographic regions and formations over the past several years.
The hydraulic fracturing draft plan is open to public comment, and is planned for review by the SAB in March. The EPA will revise the plan based on the findings and begin the study immediately, with initial findings expected to be available to the public by the end of 2012.
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