Hydraulic Fracturing


Modern Hydrualic Fracturing


George Mitchell successfully combines horizontal drilling with hydrological fracturing to create modern fracking techniques


1994 - 1995

Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation petitions the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw approval and regulate hydraulic fracturing wells in Alabama. EPA believed the wells did not need to be regulated because they allegedly did not cause groundwater contamination therefore did not break Safe Drinking Water Act.

LEAF and Government Response


In response to LEAF's continued efforts the Alabama State Oil and Gas Broad create new rules and regulations on hydraulic fracturing. These rules and regulations are then approved a year later by the EPA.

EPA Study Release

August, 2002

EPA release a draft of its study which states that hydraulic fracturing does not pose a risk to drinking water.

EPA Study Release Part 2

June, 2004

After a 4 year study the EPA concludes that hydraulic fracturing technology poses a "minimal" risk to drinking water, however there are no reported incidents of drinking water contamination from fracking.

Congress and Drilling


Congress passes the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which states that hydraulic fracturing was never intended to be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. At this same time the first wells begin to be drilled in Pennsylvania.

Safe Drinking Water Act

June 2009

Congress rewrites the intent of the Safe Drinking Water Act to also put controls on hydraulic Fracturing in the hands of the EPA.

EPA and Congress

March, 2010

Under direction from Congress, the EPA another study on hydraulic fracturing focusing primarily on potential water impacts.

Gasland and Additives

June 2010 - October 2010

Wyoming becomes the first state to require the disclosure of additives in in fracking fluid. Gasland the documentary is released but is put under continuous scrutiny for its actual accuracy.

EPA Draft

December 2011

EPA issues a new draft stating that hydraulic fracturing was "likely" the cause of water contamination in the Pavilion area. This report came under large amounts of scrutiny from state official and regulators.

EPA Fracking Statement

February 2012

The EPA retract there original statement saying that hydraulic fracturing could of been the cause of water contamination in a specific case. The EPA then proceeds to claim that more testing and research needs to be done before anything could be conclusively stated.