Science Inventory

Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (External Review Draft)

Notice:

This assessment provides a review and synthesis of available information concerning the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on drinking water resources in the United States. This is a draft report that has been made available for public comment and shared with the EPA Science Advisory Board for expert peer review. [Press Release Jun 4, 2015]

Citation:

U.S. EPA. Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-15/047, 2015.

Impact/Purpose:

To assess the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, if any, and to identify the driving factors that may affect the severity and frequency of such impacts.

Description:

This assessment provides a review and synthesis of available scientific literature and data to assess the potential for hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources, and identifies factors affecting the frequency or severity of any potential impacts. The scope of this assessment is defined by the hydraulic fracturing water cycle which includes five main activities:

  1. Water acquisition – the withdrawal of ground or surface water needed for hydraulic fracturing fluids;
  2. Chemical mixing – the mixing of water, chemicals, and proppant on the well pad to create the hydraulic fracturing fluid;
  3. Well injection – the injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into the well to fracture the geologic formation;
  4. Flowback and Produced water – the return of injected fluid and water produced from the formation to the surface, and subsequent transport for reuse, treatment, or disposal; and
  5. Wastewater treatment and waste disposal – the reuse, treatment and release, or disposal of wastewater generated at the well pad, including produced water.
This report can be used by federal, tribal, state, and local officials; industry; and the public to better understand and address vulnerabilities of drinking water resources to hydraulic fracturing activities.

URLs/Downloads:

Peer Review Plan   (PDF, 1 pp,  34 KB,  about PDF)

Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources -- Executive Summary   (PDF, 28 pp,  1190 KB,  about PDF)

Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources -- Appendices   (PDF, 401 pp,  5826 KB,  about PDF)

Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources -- Main Report   (PDF, 599 pp,  21773 KB,  about PDF)

SAB FR Notice: Jun 5, 2015   Exit

Hydraulic Fracturing Study Fact Sheets

SAB Hydraulic Fracturing Drinking Water Assessment

SAB Review of EPA’S Draft Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources   (PDF, 180 pp,  1155 KB,  about PDF)

Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (External Review Draft) -- (EPA/600/R-15/047)   (PDF, 998 pp,  27095 KB,  about PDF)

Draft Charge Questions to Reviewers   (PDF, 5 pp,  103 KB,  about PDF)

EPA's Response to the SAB Review of the Draft Report (Jan 2017)   (PDF, 228 pp,  1546 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT ( PUBLISHED REPORT/ REPORT)
Product Published Date: 06/04/2015
Record Last Revised: 01/24/2017
OMB Category: Highly Influential
Record ID: 244651