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EPA's Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources

Peer Review of Hydraulic Fracturing Study Publications

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EPA followed guidance recommendations outlined in EPA's peer review handbook (PDF) and the Office of Management and Budget's Information Quality Guidelines for the peer review of scientific products resulting from the hydraulic fracturing drinking water study.

SAB Peer Review of Assessment Report

SAB Feedback on Progress Report (2012)
The EPA's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) formed an ad hoc panel of independent experts to provide periodic advice and review under the auspices of the SAB on EPA's hydraulic fracturing research. 

In May 2013, the panel provided EPA with individual members' feedback on its 2012 Progress Report

Information on the SAB Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel meeting can be found here.

Information on SAB's activities related to the study can be found here

SAB Peer Review of Study Plan (2011)
EPA considered SAB and stakeholder comments in the development of the Draft Study Plan. Four separate SAB meetings provided opportunities for public comment.

SAB and stakeholder comments were taken into consideration in the development of the Final Study Plan.

SAB Peer Review of Scope (2010)
In April 2010, EPA's SAB reviewed and provided suggestions and comments on the proposed approach to the hydraulic fracturing study design and the areas to be addressed by research. 

Information on SAB's activities related to the proposed approach and scope of the EPA study, including the April 2010 SAB meeting materials can be found here.

Peer Review of EPA Individual Research Papers and OMB Guidelines

In addition to the SAB peer review of the draft assessment, the study's individual research projects were peer reviewed as they were completed. 
  • Projects resulting in papers submitted to journals were subjected to external peer review processes by the journal.
  • Projects resulting in EPA reports were peer reviewed by contractor coordinated letter reviews by external technical experts.

Consistent with the regulations governing confidential business information (CBI), projects involving CBI were not be reviewed by external peer reviewers, but did receive internal expert peer reviews. 

For more information, please see the SAB website.