As part of its congressionally mandated study of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the Environmental Production Agency (EPA) Wednesday said it plans to conduct field work in various regions of the country starting this summer to determine the potential impacts of fracking on drinking water sources (see Daily GPI, March 22, 2010).

EPA has identified seven case studies to help inform the assessment of the impact of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on drinking water resources. The studies, which will take place in regions across the country, will be broken into two groups, the EPA said.

Two of the seven sites were selected as prospective case studies where EPA will monitor key aspects of the fracking process throughout the lifecycle of a well. The areas are located in the Haynesville Shale (DeSoto Parish, LA) and Marcellus Shale (Washington County, PA).

Five retrospective case studies were selected and will examine areas where fracking has occurred for any impact on drinking water resources. These are located in: Bakken Shale (Bildeer and Dunn counties, ND); Barnett Shale (Wise and Denton counties, TX); Marcellus Shale (Bradford and Susquehanna counties, PA); Marcellus Shale (Washington County); and Raton Basin (Las Animas County, CO).