The Cadmus Group, the contractor hired by the EPA under the George W. Bush administration to study the risk of fracking to drinking water, concluded that monitoring of fracking activities and more information from industry would be needed to quantify the risk.
The EPA decided the study's conclusion should be that fracking did not pose a threat to groundwater and therefore did not require further study or federal oversight.
Even before the final report came out, the Cadmus scientists realized that their findings about risks to underground drinking water diverged from what the EPA wanted.
In this EPA working draft document, for instance, Cadmus recommended revisions to reflect complaints by some Virginia residents about possible contamination of their water from fracking. The contractor raised the question of an investigation to see if the complaints were warranted. The final version did not include the changes Cadmus recommended, and EPA did not launch an inquiry into the complaints.