CLEVELAND - A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official tells an Ohio fracking conference that a study of the threat to drinking water from the shale-drilling process won't be completed until 2016.
That's the word from Jeanne Briskin, coordinator of hydraulic fracturing research at the EPA's Office of Research and Development. She spoke Tuesday at a two-day conference on the subject in Cleveland.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Briskin said the EPA could release a preliminary report late next year. She described the work as "complex research."
Congress in 2010 directed the agency to investigate the threat to groundwater and air from the controversial hydraulic-fracturing process in Ohio and other states.
Critics say it is harmful to the environment.
The conference continues Wednesday.
The study found that asthma treatments were four times more common in areas near drilling sites.
A Warren man was charged for directing a former employee of a Youngstown-based company to dump fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River, which is a source of public drinking water for several Ohio cities.
Crystalline silica is found in everyday materials, but it can cause health problems for workers exposed to it on a regular basis.