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Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 5, 2015

Fracking Doesn’t Harm Drinking Water - EPA

New York Post – Six months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned fracking as too hazardous, the federal government released a report Thursday saying there’s no evidence the drilling practice has caused widespread harm to drinking water in the United States.

“Based on available scientific information, we found out that hydraulic fracturing activities in United States are carried out in a way that has not had widespread systemic impact on drinking-water resources,” said Thomas Burke, deputy assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“It is a new lens, so we can all make better decisions about public health.”

The report, issued in draft form after three years of study, cautioned that safeguards are still needed because some drinking water has been contaminated.

“The number of documented impacts on groundwater resources is relatively low,” Burke said.

That’s a far cry from the state Health Department’s findings last December, which Cuomo cited when he banned hydrofracking.

“We cannot afford to make a mistake,” state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had said. “The potential risks are too great. In fact, they are not even fully known.”

In their report, federal researchers studied the entire fracking process, from the acquisition of water to the disposal of wastewater.

Prompted by Congress, researchers reviewed thousands of pages of studies and conducted their own investigations of fracking, which collects natural gas and petroleum deep below the surface.

“Stated simply, this study follows the water,” Burke said. “We looked at each stage of the hydraulic water fracturing cycle to determine the potential impact on potential drinking-water resources.”

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Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.