WASHINGTON – An updated rule regulating hydraulic fracturing practices on federal public lands was welcomed by the Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development coalition, which commended the Bureau of Land Management for moving forward with regulations that will improve transparency and the management of all fluids in the drilling process.
The Department of the Interior’s rule establishes safety standards for hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and would update current regulations, which are more than 30 years old. The current regulations are outdated and do not address modern fracking activities, including their impacts on water quality and quantity.
“New technologies for extracting oil and gas pose new challenges for conservation of other resources on our public lands,” said Kate Zimmerman, public lands policy director for the National Wildlife Federation. “Fracking fluid waste must be properly contained and water quality must be monitored to avoid negatively impacting fish and wildlife, as well as our water supplies.”
The National Wildlife Federation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited are lead partners in the SFRED coalition. SFRED has remained actively involved in establishing reasonable safeguards for fish and wildlife and their habitats during public lands energy development activities. To that end the coalition supports requiring companies to disclose the chemicals in fracking fluids both before and after drilling.
“The new rule represents an important step forward for developing energy responsibly on America’s public lands,” said Brad Powell, senior policy director for Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project. “Disclosure of the chemicals used on public lands is essential. We also believe that providing this information before the wells are developed is a common-sense change that needs to occur to further strengthen the draft regulations.”
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