The link between fracking and water quality has been a source of deep controversy in and outside the energy business, despite a lack of firm data or consensus to date on which practices might impact water and when.

Today the EPA issued an update on its studies, ducking the inevitable round of controversy by releasing its report in the final hours before a long holiday weekend:

“The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today provided an update on its ongoing national study currently underway to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Results of the study, which Congress requested EPA to complete, are expected to be released in a draft for public and peer review in 2014. The update provided today outlines work currently underway, including the status of research projects that will inform the final study. It is important to note that while this progress report outlines the framework for the final study, it does not draw conclusions about the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, which will be made in the final study.”

The latest information on the report can be found on their site here.