Saturday, June 12, 2010

Center Establishes Criteria for Hydraulic Fracturing

Center Criteria for Evaluating Hydraulic Fracturing Projects

The Center has developed criteria for evaluating hydraulic fracturing projects.

The Center utilizes each criterion, combined with development project criteria, in determining whether it will support specific fracking projects.

1) Project not within 5 miles of a community underground or surface drinking water source.

2) Project is within 5 miles of a community underground or surface drinking water source.

3) Property owners dependent upon ground or surface water drinking supplies in 5 mile zone sign support letter for project.

4) Offer free well testing to any well owner within the 5 mile zone.

5) Publish U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) aquifer information.

6) Disclose chemical constituents (but not proprietary chemical formulas) used in fracturing process.

7) Voluntary agreement posted on corporate governance to disclose proprietary chemical formulas or specific chemical identity to physician in the event of a medical emergency (with appropriate confidentiality protections).

8) Utilize less toxic or nontoxic substitute chemicals.

9) Complete containment of all drilling wastes within flowback water handled at the well pad.

10) Reasonable buffer between well pad and flowback containment and any surface water body.

In addition to these criteria specifically targeted to hydraulic fracturing projects, the Center also has general criteria for supporting or opposing development projects.

Center Criteria For Supporting or Opposing Development Projects

1. Is the project environmentally damaging?
2. If the project is environmentally damaging, is the damage significant?
3. Does the project promote sprawl?
4. Does the project harm vulnerable communities?
5. Is the project outside of a smart growth area?
6. Does the project cause economic disadvantage or have any negative or biased economic consequences?
7. Are there many environmentally damaging projects in the area?
8. Do the majority of residents in the region oppose the project?
9. Does the political decision-making body oppose the project?
10. Do environmental groups oppose the project?

The project is eligible for Center support if seven of the ten questions receive a 'no' answer.

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