Saturday, June 23, 2012

Interior Extends Comment Period For Fracking Rule

The Interior Department is extending the public comment period on draft rules to regulate oil-and-gas "fracking" by 60 days, "to ensure that the public and key stakeholders, including industry and public health groups, are able to provide important feedback that will help inform any final rule."  Interior’s Bureau of Land Management had initially required comments by July 10 on the regulations that will govern the oil-and-gas development method called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands.

Interior floated draft rules in May that require industry disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process. The draft rules also address well integrity and management of so-called flowback water.

Interior plans to finalize the regulations by the end of the year.

Fracking involves high-pressure injections of water, chemicals and sand into shale formations to open seams that enable hydrocarbons to flow. The method is enabling a natural gas production boom in the United States, but is bringing fears of pollution along with it. (The  Hill, 6/22/2012)

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