The Interior Department is on track to impose new rules on hydraulic fracturing of natural gas and oil wells on public lands early next year, including disclosure of chemicals used at the sites and detailed plans for water disposal, an Obama administration official said Monday. A Houston Chronicle report says the government’s forthcoming proposal also likely would extend existing rules governing the integrity of wells on roughly 700 million acres of public lands in a bid to better protect nearby groundwater supplies, said Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes.
Many western states, but not Texas, have extensive federal landholdings with petroleum production. Although Interior Department officials are still drafting the plan, the government is looking to learn more about the chemicals used during hydraulically fracturing, the technique of pumping water, sand and other chemicals to breat up rock formations and unlock trapped oil and natural gas.
For more, see Tuesday's Star-Telegram.
-- Jim Fuquay