House Republicans seek information about EPA fracing investigations

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Republican leaders asked US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy how site-specific water quality investigations in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Texas are shaping its continuing hydraulic fracturing study.

The agency announced last month that it was withdrawing from its 4-year study of well-water contamination in Pavillion, Wyo., the lawmakers said in a July 30 letter to McCarthy. This withdrawal followed similar retreats in Parker County, Tex., and Dimock, Pa., they noted in an accompanying statement.

“In all three cases, EPA asserted its jurisdiction to investigate alleged water contamination only to later abandon the investigation and let the states take control,” the committee Republicans said.

They said they want to better understand EPA’s decisions “to insert itself and then later close these inquiries, how these cases are informing the broader hydraulic fracturing study, and the current status of the comprehensive study.”

The letter from committee Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (Tex.), Vice-Chairman Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), and the chairmen of three of the committee’s subcommittees requested answers to 13 questions by Aug. 13.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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