EPA Seeks Public Comment On Fracking

EPA Seeks Public Comment On Fracking

The Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) executed an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on May 9, 2014.

The ANPR seeks public comment on whether the EPA should collect and publicly disclose information on hydraulic fracturing chemicals. The public will have 90 days to submit comments.

The ANPR seeks to obtain input on a broad range of issues related to fracking chemicals. Examples of public opinions being sought include:

  • Should the EPA collect data on fracking chemicals and mixtures? If so, which legal mechanism(s) should the EPA use to obtain such information from the regulated community?
  • Whether the EPA should require the fracking community to submit the information or should it be voluntary?
  • What companies or practices would be subject to reporting requirements or other regulation of fracking chemicals?
  • What is the best method for collecting, reporting or disclosing public health and environmental data, including studies conducted by companies in the hydraulic fracturing industry?
  • How can the EPA protect public health and the environment associated with fracking chemicals and mixtures?
  • What mechanisms could be developed to make information that is reported to EPA publically disclosed and available?
  • How can the EPA minimize reporting burdens and costs, avoid duplication of efforts and maximize public understanding of fracking chemicals?

Once the EPA has collected all the information received during the public comment period, the agency will determine whether it should proceed with the creation of a proposed rule to regulate fracking chemicals and mixtures. Before the rule becomes final and enforceable, the EPA will publish a copy of the proposed regulation and once again seek public comment.

Companies that manufacture, import, process or distribute any chemicals used in any type of hydraulic fracturing should closely review the ANPR. The ANPR also indicates that future regulation may extend to chemical manufacturers and suppliers, as well as those who assist with mixing the chemicals to create the hydraulic fracturing fluids or who inject such fluids into the well to fracture a formation.

If you have any questions about the ANPR discussed above or would like to discuss other environmental matters, please contact me or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work.


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AboutKen Hollenbeck

Kenneth J. Hollenbeck is a member and former Chair of the firm’s Environmental and Land Use Law Group and a member of its Business Law Group.Full Biography

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