George Mitchell successfully combines horizontal drilling with hydrological fracturing to create modern fracking techniques
LEAF and EPA
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
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
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
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
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 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
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.