The long-awaited draft plan requires drillers to disclose chemicals used when employing hydraulic fracturing, the method that’s enabling an oil-and-gas production boom in a number of states but bringing concerns about water pollution alongside it.
But the plan does not require disclosure ahead of the fracking process, which environmentalists call a major gap in the proposal.
The plan from Interior’s Bureau of Land Management also contains requirements on oil-and-gas well integrity to verify that fluids from the fracking process aren’t escaping into nearby water supplies, and requirements for management of large volumes of so-called flowback water.
Fracking involves high-pressure injections of water, chemicals and sand into shale formations to open seams that enable hydrocarbons to flow.
Industry groups say state oversight is sufficient … Green groups including Earthjustice and the Natural Resources Defense Council said the rules don’t go far enough in some critical areas. Earthjustice said the disclosure requirements are inadequate, noting that the disclosure is only mandated after the fracking has occurred.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called it a “common-sense” proposal. MORE >>