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EPA Chief Grilled on Safety of Hydraulic Fracturing

March 5, 2011

Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), spoke last Thursday at a congressional hearing and defended the EPA’s efforts to study the safety of natural-gas drilling saying, “There is no ‘look the other way’ stand-down on concerns about natural-gas drilling.  We intend to do our jobs.”

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will visit the agency's regional office in Philadelphia Friday March 4

“Ms. Jackson suggested that if public water-treatment plants couldn’t adequately treat wastewater from hydraulic fracturing to safe levels—a central concern of critics of extraction method—EPA could impose standards on drillers who send the waste to the plants. ‘EPA can at any time set additional standards for what we call pretreatment, for waste that may go to a treatment plant,’ Ms. Jackson said.”

“She said EPA intends to study the issue and take action to enforce the law if it has evidence of violations and if states, which she called the ‘primary’ enforcers, do not act.”

Jackson said she will be traveling to the agency’s Philadelphia PA regional office Friday March 4 to discuss issues and accusations raised by recent New York Times research that suggests scientists concerns could be deliberately hidden and withheld from the public’s view.

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