OEPA correct agency to police fracking

State regulators in Ohio come down hard on natural gas and oil drillers they catch polluting the water, air or ground. Yet some suggest the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should take over the job.

One reason for that claim is hysteria – and that is the appropriate word – over hydraulic fracturing used at many wells. Critics claim it causes widespread water pollution.

Not so, the EPA itself has concluded after an exhaustive study.

In a few isolated situations, “fracking” has caused pollution of water wells and streams. Clearly, state regulators should take decisive action when that happens.

But the EPA’s study pulls the rug out from under those such as officials in New York who ban fracking altogether, as well as those advocating more federal oversight for the drilling industry. Unless a genuine nationwide concern surfaces, that proposal should be dropped.