The potential dangers of hydraulic fracturing with respect to water purity have become fairly well-known across the United States. Environmentalists, naturally, have called attention to the potential environmental impact of “fracking.” Even the federal government, though, has highlighted the dangers of fracking with respect to water contamination. Two recent reports, the result of a two-year audit conducted by the Government Accountability Office, found that the Environmental Protection Agency is not doing enough to protect drinking water supplies from fracking contamination.
The problem is particularly pronounced when it comes to the process of utilizing specific chemicals to directly mine for oil and natural gas. While other aspects of the fracking process are regulated and monitored by the EPA, direct production of oil and natural gas is exempt. Because gas production very often occurs at the same ground depth as that on which drinking-water aquifers reside, the potential for contamination is significant.