Congressman Chris Collins, NY-27, has voted to approve legislation that improves how the EPA will go about its ongoing study of the relationship between hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," and groundwater. The EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study Improvement Act (H.R. 2850), introduced by science, space and technology committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, would add to the usefulness of the EPA's ongoing multi-year study by requiring that it also include an objective risk assessment.
"Hydraulic fracturing has been studied over and over again - and in New York, we know how studies can stall job creation," Collins said. "The moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York state has been in place for five years now, as a result of the continual delay by the DEC on the environmental impact of this process. Now, the EPA is trying to do a similar study using unsound science that will only further delay a practice that many states currently allow and are greatly benefiting from."
"While I feel this issue has been over-studied, this legislation that the Committee unanimously passed today will at least help ensure the EPA provides decision makers with the right data and information," he added.
"This legislation will increase transparency and accuracy in how the EPA reports on the study of hydraulic fracturing," Collins continued. "This bill will help provide decision makers with the data and information they need in order to feel comfortable with moving forward with hydraulic fracturing, which many studies have shown to be a safe and effective way to tap into our nation's natural resources."
Smith said, "Requiring the EPA to provide context to any identified risks will maximize the study's utility to both scientists and decision-makers. And it will limit the possibility that findings will be misinterpreted or misused. This basic principle has been emphasized repeatedly in committee hearings and correspondence over the last two years. And its inclusion will enhance not only the credibility of the EPA's work on hydraulic fracturing, but also our ability to ensure continued safe and responsible production of America's vast oil and gas resources."
The bill, which has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was approved by voice vote.
For more information about the markup, including amendments and roll call votes, visit the science, space, and technology committee website.