Friday, May 4, 2012

New safety measures for hydraulic fracturing

This week, new regulations were issued aiming to make hydraulic fracturing safer. According to a New York Times article, the law intends to "require disclosure of the chemicals used in the process" However, the new law pushes this disclosure to after drilling is completed, not before, as had originally been the case.

In addition to changing disclosure requirements, the law also addresses issues related to contamination of groundwater, and includes guidelines for well construction and wastewater treatment

Interior secretary Ken Salazar stated “As we continue to offer millions of acres of America’s public lands for oil and gas development, it is critical that the public have full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place. The proposed rule will modernize our management of well stimulation activities — including hydraulic fracturing — to make sure that fracturing operations conducted on public and Indian lands follow common-sense industry best practices.”

Click here for further information from the Department of the Interior.