After acknowledging in January that Dimock Township, Pa. was under consideration, the Environmental Protection Agency named Bradford and Susquehanna counties as one of five finalists to be considered for potential retrospective case studies in its much-discussed look at hydraulic fracturing.

The finalists were officially revealed in the EPA's "Draft Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources" -- DPTSTPIOHFODWR, for short -- which was published earlier this week and will be up for review by a board of scientists.

According to the draft plan, the EPA intends to choose between three and five sites for "retrospective" case studies, along with two to three "prospective" case studies. Along with Susquehanna/Bradford, the other four retrospective finalists are:

* Killdeer and Dunn County, ND; Bakken Shale
* Wise and Denton Counties, TX; Barnett Shale
* Wetzel County, WV; Green/Washington Counties, PA; Marcellus Shale
* Los Animas County, CO; Raton Basin

All five sites have shown signs of suspected water contamination or changes in water quality, according to the EPA. A case study would be held to definitively determine whether the acquifers are contaminated and iits source.


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