EPA to Regulate Fracking Waste Water Disposal by 2014

by Nicole Good on October 20, 2011

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced today that the agency will draft federal standards to regulate the disposal of waste water produced by coal bed methane and shale gas wells.  Jackson said that, “We can protect the health of American families and communities at the same time we ensure access to all of the important resources that make up our energy economy.”

The measures will largely focus on setting federal standards to regulate the treatment of shale gas waste water at municipal water treatment facilities: In states that have allowed municipal plants to accept drilling and fracking wastewater, rivers are showing elevated levels of pollutants.  The city of Wheeling will be paying a $59,000 fine (reduced from $414,000) for breeching state laws on accepting brine water from Marcellus shale natural gas drilling.

The EPA’s announcement comes in response to states’ pleas for federal regulation, concerns about flowback disposal, and President Obama’s plan to have natural gas play critical role in the energy future of the United States.  Read the EPA News Release here…

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