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EPA Extends Comment Period on Rule for Fracking with Diesel Fuels
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the public comment period for its proposed permitting guidance on hydraulic fracturing activities using diesel fuels. Comments are now due Aug. 23.
The agency’s guidance attempts to clarify permitting procedures for wells that use diesel fuels in their “fracking” fluids. Diesels were the one category not exempted by Congress in 2005 from Safe Drinking Water Act’s underground injection control permit requirements. Industry advocates have argued that the EPA’s proposed rule unjustifiably expands the definition of diesel fuels. Although the Chemical Abstracts Service, a division of the American Chemical Society and the premier source for chemical information, only has two listings for diesels, the EPA’s definition includes heating oil, kerosene, and other chemicals in its definition. States have also complained that the clarified permitting procedures amount to nothing more than unfunded mandates.
EPA Fracking Study Plan Reinforces Industry Fears
In other news, the EPA continues its much-maligned Hydraulic Fracturing Study Plan, despite industry concerns. The Battelle Memorial Institute, a research organization, has noted that the proposed study ventures far beyond its initial mandate to study the effects of fracking material injection on drinking water. Subjects such as well wastewater treatment and environmental justice now appear in the EPA’s study plan, and many fear industry is being shut out of the process.
Natural gas production is a major part of American energy sector, and the boom in fracturing operations is making important contributions to the American economy and energy independence. Regulators and lawmakers must not cripple our ability to fashion an abundant, domestic energy portfolio.
Article Date: 2012-07-16
Source: Associated Equipment Distributors
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