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Senators Question EPA on Fracking Rules
On Sept. 27, five senators wrote to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to express concern with the agency’s development of hydraulic fracturing guidance.
The bipartisan letter reinforced Congress’ intent, through the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to make states or other local bodies the primary regulators of hydraulic fracturing, with EPA authority only proper when fracturing involved the use of diesel fuels. Signatories to the letter include Environment & Public Works Committee Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Energy & Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).
“We are concerned that EPA’s definition of 'diesel fuels' is not precise and could jeopardize state primacy delegations under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The lack of a proper definition creates uncertainty and does not allow operators to determine whether they are subject to EPA’s proposal,” the senators said.
The letter noted that the EPA’s "ever-evolving definition of 'diesel fuels' raises serious questions" regarding state authority. This lack of clarity could subject states to litigation from environmental groups, the senators warned.
To ensure the preservation of state authority, the letter asked EPA to thoroughly consider the impact of its guidance and ensure that the agency's final say on the matter makes clear that EPA’s hydraulic fracturing regulatory scheme is not applicable to states.
Article Date: 2012-10-01
Source: Associated Equipment Distributors
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