State, tribal and federal officials have agreed to work collaboratively in Pavillion to do further sampling and collect more data in their water monitoring wells. The move is expected to push back a final report on a possible link between water contamination and hydraulic fracturing in the area until later this year.
In a statement by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, the agency explained that it would work with Wyoming, Tribes and local residents to find an affordable, long-term drinking water solution. She also said more sampling would have to be done before a final report could be issued.
In other words, the draft report tentatively linking water contamination in Pavillion to hydraulic fracturing released in December is still considered tentative, and a final report proving or disproving a link between the two won’t be available anytime soon.
As well, the EPA will leave public comment on the draft report open and has agreed to delay its peer review panel on that draft report until additional data from the U.S. Geological Survey can be made public later this year.
The EPA also says a group of experts and stakeholders with meet with Tribal and state officials at a later date to further discuss possible sources of contamination and identify risks to drinking water.