Federal Officials Release Latest Draft Proposal for Fracking
KREX News Room
WASHINGTON - As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Department of the Interior Sunday announced the release of an updated draft proposal to update standards for hydraulic fracturing on public and Indian lands.
Following the release of an initial draft proposal in 2012, Interior received extensive feedback, including more than 177,000 public comments that were contributed to the updated draft proposal.
Officials say the new proposal maintains important safety standards, improves integration with existing state and tribal standards and increases flexibility for oil and gas developers. The updated draft proposal will be subject to a new 30-day public comment period.
The updated draft proposal maintains the three main components of the initial proposal: requiring operators to disclose the chemicals they use in fracturing activities on public lands; improving assurances of well-bore integrity to verify that fluids used during fracturing operations are not contaminating groundwater; and confirming that oil and gas operators have a water management plan in place for handling fluids that flow back to the surface.
Although the BLM is not proposing a material change in the provision that allows hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids to be stored either in tanks or in lined pits, the BLM is seeking comments on the costs and benefits of requiring flowback fluids to only be stored in closed tanks.
After the comment period ends for this latest proposal, the BLM expects to issue a final plan.
To view the updated draft proposal, visit www.blm.gov/co/st .