Home > Frac > What the Release of the EPA Study in Pavillion, WY Does Prove: It Isn’t that Fracturing Contaminates Groundwater

What the Release of the EPA Study in Pavillion, WY Does Prove: It Isn’t that Fracturing Contaminates Groundwater

December 14, 2011

The EPA released a “Draft Report” entitled “Investigation of Groundwater Contamination near Pavillion, Wyoming“.

Well,…I don’t really know where to begin because of the ramifications of such a release. I would like you to notice that I intentionally said “a release” and not “a report.” I say this because I believe the EPA’s release of that “report” is more important and more telling than the report itself.

It is so telling…

Before I offer my conclusion concerning the EPA, I would like to offer some information for your consideration.

We live in country wherein the CIA, FBI, NCS, NSA, etc. are all on the government payroll. The CIA has a public “World Factbook” that can tell you a plethora of amazing and insightful information about most of the countries on earth. They have accurate data on the major countries, worldwide, available to the public. I don’t (and neither do you) believe that this is all of the information that these agencies have about the people of these countries. Their job is to understand how these countries tick so that they can hammer out a relational policy. Do you think these agencies understand how the United States ticks?

The EPA knows how this country works.

You can find information about their release and the release itself here.

In their own words:

“EPA has released a draft report outlining findings from the Pavillion, Wyoming groundwater investigation for public comment and independent scientific peer-review. The draft report will be available for a 45-day public comment period. A subsequent 30-day peer-review process will be led by a panel of independent scientists.”

Although it is only December 14th (as of today), a number of major networks have already done pieces on Pavillion.

The EPA may be careful about how they present the information in saying things like “it may have been caused by Hydraulic Fracturing” (without coming out and saying conclusively “Fracturing causes water contamination.”) but the folks at CBS are not that careful.

In this piece, CBS Evening News explicitly says “today, the EPA pinned the blame on byproducts from Hydraulic Fracturing.”

The entire piece centered around a farmer with a young family, without the mineral rights to his property, who has to have water delivered for eating and drinking due to EPA recommendations. A more pitiable picture isn’t available.

It also included Louis Meeks, ProPublica’s Wyoming Poster Boy for Fracturing opposition. ProPublica did a 14 page writeup on him back in February of 2011. He was the one whose water smelled like “lighter fluid” according to the CBS piece.

ProPublica is a well funded non-profit with an Anti-Hydraulic Fracturing agenda out of New York, New York.

In 2009, with average earnings of $34,140.00 and paying $5,400.00 in Federal Income Tax and FICA each tax payer (at this level for reference) paid out $11.67 for EPA funding.

The EPA is a servant of the public. They exist for the specific purpose of protecting the environment from industry irresponsibility. They can regulate and affect policy. They exist because of tax-dollars that come from people. In being a servant of the public, they should understand the people they serve, more pointedly, they should calculate what the release of inconclusive information can do to policies related to the Natural Gas Industry.

If citizens are misinformed or the Natural Gas Industry is misrepresented, the consequences of how policies are formulated could be detrimental when every outraged constituent calls their Representative or Senator and pressures them to vote “No” concerning the industry.

Facts have never been more important. An inaccurate “study” should never have been released.

So, what does the Release of the EPA Study in Pavillion, WY mean if it doesn’t mean that Hydraulic Fracturing contaminates groundwater?

It says that the EPA is irresponsible and unprofessional. It says that they are a waste of government money; they are a far cry from what Nixon initially intended for them to be. I think they should be dismantled or overhauled.

Get that?

What the public needs now, more than ever, is indisputable facts. It is common knowledge that United States has recently discovered a wealth of Natural Gas under its soil. We need a competent group to decide how we should go about benefiting from it. We need facts vetted by thorough review subject to the entire scientific process.

The EPA did not conclusively provide those to the public.

They released a non-peer reviewed study that the Natural Gas industry immediately found a plethora of problems with. EID published 6 questions dealing with major flaws almost immediately. Forbes picked up these questions and published them.

Where is the EPA response to these serious questions? The EPA is responsible for Federal Regulation, are they not? They need to remove all doubt that they are not Green Shills. They need to (just as publicly) answer the questions posed to them by the Natural Gas Industry.

They need to look like a neutral Government Agency who acts like our courts do. In our courts, you are innocent until PROVEN guilty. The court of Public Opinion doesn’t work that way. EPA knows that.

If this was not such a loaded issue, then the national news group would have never picked up news about a town, that according to the 2000 Census, had a population of 165 people.

They have not issued statements correcting CBS’s statements or acted to curb the level of support coming from the Fractivist Communities. They are allowing Fractivist communities to continue treating this like a victory when the EPA is not comfortable communicating their findings as conclusive because (News Flash) they are not. They haven’t answered any Industry questions. They are letting it ride.

They better start doing something. They are involved in the formation of policy. They owe it to the people who pay taxes and keep EPA employed. Especially when the EPA can’t replicate their results.

Otherwise, they should have kept those findings to themselves until they were peer-reviewed. This is how data is verified.

They are a GOVERNMENT AGENCY, not ProPublica, or WaterKeeper etc. There is a huge difference between their roles.

EPA are as familiar with the Frac’ing debate as any other group on Earth. If you want me to believe that they couldn’t have predicted the responses by the media to their report, then you should find some other sucker because I will not buy that.

Erik Milito of API said “The protocols being followed by the agency should ensure credible and scientifically defensible results.”

Bruce Hinchey (President of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming) said,

“Unsubstantiated statements coming from the EPA today stretch the data and cause unwarranted alarm and concern about a proven technology that allows our industry to safely extract oil and natural gas. The EPA’s announcement is irresponsible and leads us to call into question its motives.”

I agree with Mr. Hinchey. I will not believe EPA was blind to the potential impact of releasing that “report” without review unless they had a motive.

Once you throw a grenade, you can’t take the aftermath back.

The EPA knows this but I am not hearing anything else from their camp.

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