Water: Hydraulic Fracturing
Hydraulic Fracturing Under the Safe Drinking Water Act
Natural gas plays a key role in our nation's clean energy future and the process known as hydraulic fracturing is one way of accessing that vital resource. Hydraulic fracturing is used by gas producers to stimulate wells and recover natural gas from sources such as coalbeds and shale gas formations. Hydraulic fracturing is also used for other applications including oil recovery. Over the past few years, several key technical, economic, and energy policy developments have spurred increased use of hydraulic fracturing for gas extraction over a wider diversity of geographic regions and geologic formations. Along with the expansion of hydraulic fracturing, there have been increasing concerns about its potential impacts on drinking water resources, public health, and environmental impacts in the vicinity of these facilities.
EPA has developed draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II permitting guidance for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing activities using diesel fuels. This document describes information useful in permitting the underground injection of oil- and gas-related hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels where EPA is the permitting authority. EPA's goal is to improve compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements and strengthen environmental protections consistent with existing law.
The comment period deadline for submitting comments closed August 23, 2012.
- Federal Register Notice:
Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels – Extension of Comment Period
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- Draft Guidance:
Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels Draft - Underground Injection Program Guidance #84 (PDF) (55 pp, 860K)
EPA 816-R-12-004, May 2012
- Fact Sheet:
Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels, UIC Program Guidance #84 – Draft (PDF) (2 pp, 2MB)
EPA 816-K-12-001, May 2012