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Friday, June 24, 2011

EPA fracking study involves three Pennsylvania counties

from the Pocono Record. 6-24-11

ALLENTOWN (AP) — Federal environmental regulators will study seven sites, including three in Pennsylvania, as part of their investigation into the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing on the quality of drinking water.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday its choice of sites for the study, including Bradford and Susquehanna counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and Washington County in the southwest.

The congressionally mandated EPA study will also include sites in Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Texas.

All three Pennsylvania counties are atop the Marcellus shale, where a drilling boom has raised concerns about the use of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a drilling technique in which water, sand and a small amount of chemicals are used to open gas-bearing shale formations deep underground.

Critics say that fracking threatens groundwater, while the industry insists the procedure has been used safely for decades.

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