DOE Panel Warns of Serious Impacts, Urges Holistic Approach to Regulation

by Nicole Good on August 11, 2011

Ninety days ago, the Department of Energy assigned a subcommittee of 7 members to study hydraulic fracturing and make regulatory recommendations.  The panel was criticized by 109 organizations and 28 scientists for being biased– six of the seven members were identified as having financial ties to the industry.

When the final 41-page report was released today, several recommendations were made, including:

  • Making public all chemicals used in the fracking process
  • Careful tracking and proper disposal of fracking wastewater
  • Strict emission standards for methane and ozone-forming chemicals, and other pollutants
  • More research for cleaner drilling practices
  • Baseline water quality tests

The report found no evidence that groundwater can be contaminated through migration of chemicals from the shale layers up, but did note that poor cement jobs in casings could easily leak, and commented that “intensive shale gas development can potentially have serious impacts on public health, the environment and quality of life — even when individual operators conduct their activities in ways that meet and exceed regulatory requirements.”

Read more in the Charleston Gazette…

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