Study to Evaluate the Impacts to USDWs by Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Reservoirs
The study of coalbed methane (CBM) wells involved interviews with approximately 50 state and local government agency staff members, communications with about 40 citizens who were concerned that CBM production had adversely affected their drinking water wells, and searches for confirmed incidents of drinking water well contamination. EPA published a draft report in August 2002, requested public comment, and incorporated changes as appropriate in the final report.
Below are links to the major documents prepared as part of EPA’s effort to gather and analyze information related to the potential impacts on underground sources of drinking water from the injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into CBM wells.
- Visit the hydraulic fracturing page for more information about hydraulic fracturing and for background on why EPA conducted the study.
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
- Study Fact sheet (EPA 816‑F‑04‑017) June 2004 (PDF) (2 pp, 91K)
- Download Entire Study (ZIP File) (13MB zip file)
- Executive Summary (PDF) (22 pp, 2MB)
- Cover, Table of Contents, Glossary (PDF) (20 pp, 384K)
- Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF) (11 pp, 878K)
- Chapter 2 - Study Methodology (PDF) (7 pp, 54K)
- Chapter 3 - Characteristics (PDF) (32 pp, 1092K)
- Chapter 4 - Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids (PDF) (26 pp, 1.21MB)
- Chapter 5 - Summary of Coalbed Methane Basin Descriptions (PDF) (17 pp, 704K)
- Chapter 6 - Water Quality Incidents (PDF) (16 pp, 94K)
- Chapter 7 - Conclusions and Recommendations (PDF) (6 pp, 34K)
- Appendix A - Department of Energy - Hydraulic Fracturing White Paper (PDF) (23 pp, 495K)
- Appendix B - Quality Assurance Plan (PDF) (14 pp, 139K)
- Master References (PDF) (15 pp, 79K)
- San Juan Basin (PDF) (33 pp, 1.5MB)
- Black Warrior Basin (PDF) (24 pp, 810K)
- The Piceance Basin (PDF) (16 pp, 610K)
- The Uinta Basin (PDF) (10 pp, 431K)
- The Powder River Basin (PDF) (20 pp, 361K)
- The Central Appalachian Coal Basin (PDF) (18 pp, 486K)
- The Northern Appalachian Coal Basin (PDF) (17 pp, 1.08MB)
- The Western Interior Basin (PDF) (29 pp, 1.46MB)
- The Raton Basin (PDF) (19 pp, 542K)
- The Sand Wash Basin (PDF) (15 pp, 384K)
- The Pacific and Central Coal Region (PDF) (14 pp, 292K)
Study History and Approach
- 11th Circuit Court Decision relating to EPA's approval of Alabama's program under SDWA section 1425 (PDF) (25 pp, 425K)
- Peer Review Panelists who reviewed the study and their qualifications.
- Public Comment and Response Summary for the Study of Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Wells on Underground Sources of Drinking Water (PDF) (39 pp, 257K)
- Federal Register notice inviting the public to report incidents of ground water contamination believed to be associated with hydraulic fracturing of CBM wells.
- Final Study Design
- Draft Study Design (PDF) (6 pp, 18K)
- Federal Register Announcement of August 24, 2000 Public Meeting
- Meeting Summary and List of Attendees (PDF) (28 pp, 64K)
Related Web Sites
- The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) is a nonprofit organization whose members represent industry, state and federal regulators, academia, and others who have interests in ground water protection. In 1998, GWPC conducted a survey on the inventory and extent of hydraulic fracturing in CBM wells in the producing states.
- The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has technical information, research results, and educational programs for the natural gas industry and gas customers on finding, producing, delivering, and using natural gas.