Yesterday the US EPA released a draft report regarding the effect of fracking on drinking water. EPA states that this report is the most complete compilation of scientific data to date on the impacts of fracking on drinking water. Here is the executive summary for those who don't want to read the whole report.
The bottom line is twofold:
fracturing activities in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not
led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources"
2. "there are potential vulnerabilities in
the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water."
Basically, EPA found that fracking has led to some damage to groundwater supplies , but the damage is not systematic and it is not widespread. The number of incidents where groundwater is affected is described as "relatively low" given the number of wells that have been drilled. In terms of potential impacts, the study suggests that handling the wastewater from fracking will pose more problems than the fracking activity itself.
Given the mixed news, anti-fracking and pro-fracking sides are declaring victory.
Read about it:
Article at the WP
Article at the NYT
Article and voice-cast at NPR
Article at the N&O