CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency is abandoning its plan to confirm hydraulic fracturing is linked to groundwater pollution in central Wyoming. A draft news release obtained Thursday by The Associated Press says the EPA won't have independent scientists review its finding that fracking may have caused the pollution. EPA spokesman Tom Reynolds in Washington, D.C., confirms the information.
The EPA says it won't finalize its report on the issue. Instead, it will let state officials investigate. Wyoming officials have been skeptical about the theory that hydraulic fracturing played a role in the pollution. Fracking boosts the productivity of oil and gas wells by pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals into the ground. The EPA announced in late 2011 that fracking might have played a role in the Pavillion-area pollution. The report marked the first time EPA publicly linked fracking and groundwater contamination.