The American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance sponsored a report finding that EPA’s proposed hydraulic fracturing study plan could be improved in several areas.  The report finds that the proposed EPA study reaches beyond the scope of Congress’s stated purpose – studying the relationship between fracking and drinking water.  Rather than focus on fracking, EPA’s study will also include more common concerns relating to all oil and gas production activities, such as standard site development and production activities.  The report indicates that the larger scope of EPA’s study “adds complexity and risks as well as commitments competing for limited resources and time available for completing the study.”  Among other deficiencies, the report also found that EPA failed to incorporate into the proposed study the Scientific Advisory Board’s recommendations to develop an advisory group of stakeholders.

EPA plans to release the first progress report on the study toward the end of the year with a final draft for public comment in 2014.