The US EPA is being lobbied to regulate methane gas leaks from fracking projects, following an accusation it was acting on the basis of false evidence about the level of emissions unconventional gas projects generate.

DeSmogBlog reported that environmental group NC WARN has presented the EPA Inspector General with evidence showing key research on methane leaks was “tainted”, and that “one of the EPA’s top scientific advisors fraudulently concealed evidence that a commonly-used tool for collecting data from oil and gas wells gives artificially low methane measurements”.

The complaint alleges that University of Texas professor of engineering David Allen, who served as the chairman of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board from 2012 to 2015, “disregarded red flags” that his methane measuring equipment malfunctioned, resulting in data showing lower than actual methane leaks.

NC WARN executive director Jim Warren said the consequence is that for the past three years the fracking industry has been using the 2013 UoT study to argue emissions are low enough to not require regulating.