EPA: 'Data gaps' block verdict on fracking, drinking water

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FILE - In this June 25, 2012 file photo, a crew works on a gas drilling rig at a well site for shale based natural gas in Zelienople, Pa. Hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas poses a risk to drinking water in some circumstances, but ... a lack of information precludes a definitive statement on how severe the risk is, the Environmental Protection Agency says in a new report that raises more questions than answers. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) (The Associated Press)

The Environmental Protection Agency says hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas poses a risk to drinking water in some circumstances. But it says a lack of information prevents a definitive statement on how severe the risk is.

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The final report raises more questions than answers about the safety of fracking. The Associated Press obtained a summary ahead of the report's release on Tuesday.

The new report removes a finding from a draft issued last year indicating that fracking has not caused widespread harm to drinking water in the United States. Industry groups hailed the finding as proof that fracking is safe, while environmental groups focused on cases of fracking-caused pollution cited in the report.

The final report draws no conclusions on fracking's overall effect on drinking water.