WASHINGTON, DC – Citing clear evidence of water contamination linked to fracking, more than 100 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals said todaythe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should revise the conclusion of its landmark study on the controversial drilling technique.
The comments from the health professionals came at the end of a public comment period on the draft review of the EPA study, which has been roundly criticized for its topline conclusion that hydraulic gas fracturing posed “no widespread, systemic risks.”
“As doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, we are deeply concerned with the EPA draft report,” said a letter submitted today by Environment America. “We feel it is appropriate for the EPA to retract its topline conclusion.”
A panel of scientists tasked with reviewing the draft study said two weeks ago that EPA’s main finding was “inconsistent” with the rest of the agency’s analysis. The advisory board is in the process of finalizing its recommendations for revisions to the study.
“Families from Pennsylvania to Colorado have already suffered from dangerous water contamination caused by fracking,” said Rachel Richardson, director of Environment America’s Stop Drilling Program. “The conclusion reached by the EPA that fracking poses no widespread water contamination should be retracted – period.”
The science board will reconvene with public teleconference meetings February 1stto hear comments submitted up until today’s deadline and could make final recommendations to EPA by February 15th.
Reversal of the main finding of the congressionally-mandated study could increase pressure for regulations or limitations on fracking, which remains exempt from most major federal environmental laws and is linked to more than 1,000 cases of water contamination.
“The conclusion that fracking posed no widespread risk was used as fodder by fracking proponents to excuse a practice that increases pollution and puts our communities at risk,” said Richardson. “The fact is, dirty drilling has caused documented, widespread water contamination across the country.”