The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency might use oil and gas development tapping the Niobrara shale formation near Cheyenne, Wyo., as a case study in an investigation of the overall environmental and public health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
Fracking is a technique used by energy companies to fracture underground rock formations, releasing oil and gas. The technique usually requires an often-proprietary cocktail of water, sand and chemicals that many fear could threaten public health and contaminate groundwater and domestic water wells.
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