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What is the USGS role related to hydraulic fracturing?

The USGS is a science research agency with no regulatory, land management, or enforcement powers.

The USGS role includes:

  • research and assessments on the location, quantity, and quality of unconventional oil and gas resources whose production could involve hydraulic fracturing. Resource assessments estimate the quantity of oil and gas that is yet to be discovered but that could be recovered using today’s knowledge and technology.
  • Research on water supplies and water quality, including any possible effects on water resources related to oil and gas production and the composition of water injected into and produced from hydrocarbon wells.
  • Research on induced seismicity in areas of hydraulic fracturing and wastewater injection.

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