On May 7, 2013 the League offered comments to the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board on the study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. The comments were delivered on behalf of LWVUS and 18 different state Leagues.

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Public Comment to
EPA Leaders and Science Advisory Board on the
Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources
Advisory Board Panel Meeting
May 7, 2013
Arlington, VA

 

The League of Women Voters has a long history of conducting research, examining issues from various perspectives, and reaching positions based on consensus.[i] Advocacy, based on these positions, is an important part of League activity. I am Jessica Jones speaking on behalf of the Leagues of Women Voters of the United States and our State signatories.

We are concerned that hydraulic fracturing[ii] has occurred extensively and continues to occur in over 30 states without the completion of a comprehensive, transparent, science-based, peer-reviewed study on its potential impact on drinking water resources. We are therefore highly dependent on this EPA Study to direct action to prevent damage to public health and the environment.

In reviewing the scope of your investigation, the League urges you to include a thorough examination of EPA’s findings based on test sample analyses in two case studies:  Pavillion, Wyoming and Dimock, Pennsylvania. These two sites are in different shale plays and both appear to have experienced water contamination. All investigations conducted at these study sites by the EPA are not included in the EPA’s Progress Report of December 2012. Pavillion is not mentioned at all. Dimock, one of the locations that EPA did test sampling for this Study, is only found in footnote 78 stating no further action is planned at this site.

The League urges the EPA and the Science Advisory Board to examine fully the history and current status of these two critical sites and include them in the study going forward.  We ask that the Final Report on the Study address the issues raised at these significant sites.[iii] The inclusion of Dimock and Pavillion in this EPA study is not intended to exclude the other previously selected sites from consideration.

The public should be assured that non-disclosure agreements, political pressures, and/or financial considerations have not stood in the way of relevant data needed for scientific scrutiny. Sound, reliable, and comprehensive data are essential for building rational explanations and a theoretical understanding of the cumulative impact of hydraulic fracturing on life-sustaining water resources.

In conclusion, the League of Women Voters appreciates the opportunity to provide input for the consideration of the EPA, the Science Advisory Board, and this panel of experts.

Signed:

Elisabeth MacNamara, President
League of Women Voters of the United States

Dr. Barbara Klein, President
League of Women Voters of Arizona

Jennifer Waggoner, President
League of Women Voters of California

Cheryl Dunson, President
League of Women Voters of Connecticut

Carol Jones, President
League of Women Voters of Delaware

Muriel R. Roberts, President
League of Women Voters of Idaho

Jan Dorner, President
League of Women Voters of Illinois

Sandra Slifer, President
League of Women Voters of Louisiana

Nancy Soreng, President
League of Women Voters of Maryland

Stacy Doepner-Hove, President
League of Women Voters of Minnesota

Toni Zimmer, President
League of Women Voters of New Jersey

Sally Robinson, President
League of Women Voters of New York

Robin Wisdom, President
League of Women Voters of Oregon

Olivia Thorne, President
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania

Linda Krefting, President
League of Women Voters of Texas

Lynn Gordon, President
League of Women Voters of Virginia

Kim Abel and Linnea Hurst, Co-Presidents
League of Women Voters of Washington

Susan K. Watkins, President
League of Women Voters of West Virginia

Amy K. Williamson, President
League of Women Voters of Wyoming

 




 

[i] LWV US natural resources position found at http://www.lwv.org/content/natural-resources. LWV US position on water resources relative to environmental protection and pollution control found at http://www.lwv.org/content/environmental-protection-and-pollution-control.

[ii][ii] Hydraulic fracturing is a type of unconventional natural gas extraction process that ranges from water acquisition to wastewater treatment and waste disposal. The use of this term and others will be consistent with those found at the EPA website http://www2.epa.gov/hfstudy/hydraulic-fracturing-water-cycle.

[iii] Information from public sources will be provided to assist you in this effort, if requested.