Is there a chance that fracking fluid could end up in the Colorado River?
Is there a chance that fracking fluid could end up in the Colorado River?Smith Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith

The EPA has proposed an in-depth study of the relationship between water and the hydraulic fracturing process in natural gas production.

The federal agency’s draft proposal, highlighted below, is written in clear language and should be of interest to anyone with a stake in Garfield County, where natural gas production and the use of “fracking” remain high and 20 percent of the “produced” water is being poured into local streams and rivers, according to a recent article in the Glenwood Post Independent.

The EPA draft study proposal describes how water quality can potentially be harmed throughout the fracking process, from obtaining water to disposing of toxic “flowback” water after it has come out of the well. The proposed study plan identifies that one area of potential study is Garfield County.

Here’s a story on the study from ProPublica and the press release from the EPA about the draft study plan, which is open to public comment.

The study is embedded below in a Document Cloud document reader. The position and size of the original document can be adjusted to make it easier to read, for example, it is helpful to center the document and then zoom in. You can also select “notes” and go straight to some of the more compelling paragraphs in the report.

[documentcloud id=”44162-epa-hydraulic-fracturing-study-plan”]

Brent Gardner-Smith

Brent Gardner-Smith

Brent Gardner-Smith, the founder of Aspen Journalism, and who served as AJ’s executive director until August 2021 and as editor from 2011-2020, is the news director at Aspen Public Radio. He's also been...