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What is hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) and what is EPA doing about it?

Hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) is the injection of fluid under pressure to facilitate the production of oil and natural gases. Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy future. The U.S. has vast reserves of natural gas that are commercially viable as a result of advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies enabling greater access to gas in shale formations.  Responsible development of America's shale gas resources offers important economic, energy security, and environmental benefits.


EPA is working with states and other key stakeholders to help ensure that natural gas extraction does not come at the expense of public health and the environment. The Agency’s focus and obligations under the law are to provide oversight, guidance and, where appropriate, rulemaking that achieve the best possible protections for the air, water and land where Americans live, work and play. The Agency is investing in improving our scientific understanding of hydraulic fracturing, providing regulatory clarity with respect to existing laws, and using existing authorities where appropriate to enhance health and environmental safeguards. More information can be found on our Natural Gas Extraction - Hydraulic Fracturing homepage:  http://www2.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing

EPA is conducting a study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources. To read more about this study:  http://www.epa.gov/hfstudy/

Additional Questions and Answers about the study are located at: http://www.epa.gov/hfstudy/questions.html

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 23002-33197
  • Date Created: 1/31/2012
  • Last Modified Since: 8/7/2014
  • Viewed: 5694

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