Independent panel formed to review EPA's fracing research

A panel of 31 experts has been formed to review the US Environmental Protection Agency’s hydraulic fracturing research, EPA’s independent Scientific Advisory Board announced on Mar. 25.

It said the group will be asked to specifically seek input from applied scientific practitioners to get fresh information on emerging science and technology in what SAB considers a rapidly changing industry.

The panel is comprised of 5 current employees of companies and consulting firms; 2 government employees; and 21 academics and university professors (including some previously employed in the oil and gas industry), according to SAB.

It said the group would review a draft report that EPA expects to complete in 2014 on any potential health and environmental impacts of fracing on drinking water resources. It also will be asked to provide scientific feedback on EPA’s research leading up to the peer review, the SAB said.

EPA announced its intention to conduct the study in response to a request from Congress in March 2010. The panel will hold a public meeting May 7-8 at which members will comment on EPA’s 2012 progress report on the study. Members of the public also will be invited to provide comments, SAB said.

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