Fed: fracking study won't be done until 2016

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.
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Ohio regulators link seismic activity to fracking_ Ohio regulators link seismic activity to fracking_

Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation's strictest.