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EPA Implicates Fracking in Pollution (Dec 08, 2011)

CHEYENNE (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the first time has implicated a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells in causing groundwater pollution.

The practice is called hydraulic fracturing and involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil or gas.

The EPA announced Thursday that it found compounds likely associated with "fracking" chemicals in the groundwater beneath a Wyoming community where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals.

It could have a chilling effect in states trying to determine how to regulate the controversial process.

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