Of particular concern, the panel said, "was the report's overarching conclusion that fracking has not led to 'widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States'," Banerjee reports. "The panel said that EPA did not provide quantitative evidence to support the conclusion." The panel wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: "SAB recommends that the EPA revise the major statements of findings in the executive summary and elsewhere in the final assessment report to clearly link these statements to evidence provided in the body of the final assessment report."
Environmentalists welcomed the panel's report, saying they hoped it would lead to changes in the original report's conclusions, Banerjee writes. Industry group Energy in Depth responded by maintaining "that the draft study's topline claims on fracking's water pollution stand." Industry groups had seized upon the 2015 report "to back its contention that fracking does not pose a threat to water," Banerjee reports.