Saturday, April 16, 2011

Senate E & P Committee Holds Hearing on Natural Gas

Full Environment & Public Works Committee
Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife joint hearing entitled:

"Natural Gas Drilling: Public Health and Environmental Impacts.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
10:00 AM EDT
EPW Hearing Room - 406 Dirksen

Excerpts From Robert Perciasepe, EPA Deputy Administrator

While Congress specifically exempted selected oil and gas production activities from several environmental laws, a number of environmental protections continue to apply. For example, while the Energy Policy Act of 2005 excluded hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas production from permitting under the Safe Drinking Water Act’s (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program, these activities are still regulated under the SDWA when diesel fuels are used in fracturing fluids. Also, flowback and produced water disposal through injection is still regulated under the SDWA.

EPA regulates waste waters from oil and gas wells under the Section 301(b) and 402 (a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) when they are discharged into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) and surface waters. To address public health concerns from air emissions, Clean Air Act (CAA) provisions for New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, and Mandatory Reporting of Green House Gases apply to energy extraction.

EPA retains authority to respond to imminent and substantial endangerments to public health or the environment under several statutes, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.


Majority Statements

Barbara Boxer

Benjamin L. Cardin
Minority Statements

James M. Inhofe


Panel 1

The Honorable Robert Perciasepe
Deputy Administrator
Environmental Protection Agency

Panel 2

Dr. Conrad Daniel Volz, DrPH, MPH
Center for Healthy Environments & Communities

Mr. Jack Ubinger
Senior Vice President
Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Dr. Robert Summers, Ph.D.
Acting Secretary of the Environment
Maryland Department of the Environment

Mr. Jeff Cloud
Vice Chairman
Oklahoma Corporation Commission

Mr. David Neslin
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

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