Regulation of Fracking and the Protection of Municipal Water Supplies

by Duane Nichols on November 16, 2012

The National League of Cities will be voting on a resolution regarding fracking. The resolution has already passed the League’s Energy Environment and Natural Resource Steering Committee and will next be considered by the Energy Environment and Natural Resource Policy and Advocacy Committee at the end of November.

The resolution is shown below with a list of the Policy and Advocacy Committee members. The resolution supports repeal of the Halliburton Loophole and full chemical disclosure, and allowing states and municipalities to go farther than the federal government.

If you look through the committee members who will be voting on this resolution, there might be some from your city, region or state. Apparently, there is no organized effort to reach out to these officials, but it would be good if anyone can make calls and ask city officials on the list about the resolution.

Thank you for your interest in this matter,

>>> Amy Mall, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 1152 15th Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20005. <<<

Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing and the Protection of Municipal Water Supplies

WHEREAS, oil and natural gas production contributes to America’s domestic energy security; and

WHEREAS, hydraulic fracturing is a method of enhancing oil and gas production that involves the pumping of a mixture of mostly water and sand, with some chemical additives which are determined based upon the target formation, to open fissures within the target formation to allow for the release of oil or gas; and

WHEREAS, hydraulic fracturing has become widely used in the oil and gas industry for wells targeting sandstone and shale formations that are considered “tight” or impermeable, which are widely distributed across the United States; and

WHEREAS, there is a potential risk that hazardous chemicals introduced during hydraulic fracturing, as well as naturally occurring hydrocarbons unlocked by fracturing, can make their way into aquifers used as domestic water sources not only via the fractures themselves but also via natural joints, faults, and fissures in bedrock layers that might otherwise be supposed to be impermeable to fluid flow; and

WHEREAS, contamination to drinking water has the potential to occur via drilling muds, improperly cased wells, and natural hydrocarbons found in target formations and released by hydraulic fracturing; and

WHEREAS, groundwater supplies are an important, and sometimes exclusive, source of drinking water for municipalities around the United States; and

WHEREAS, aquifers that become contaminated can be prohibitively expensive and/or technically infeasible to clean up, and contamination, whether related to oil and gas activities or other contamination sources (including biogenic methane) can result in the pollution of underground water supplies for long periods of time; and

WHEREAS, clean, fresh water suitable for drinking and other municipal uses is becoming an increasingly scarce and valuable commodity that merits careful stewardship; and

WHEREAS, protection of drinking water resources is a primary concern to Americans,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National League of Cities urges Congress and the Administration to undertake responsible management of oil and gas drilling and production activities such that hydraulic fracturing does not pose a threat to domestic water supplies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that oil and gas companies be required to disclose the full and complete list of all chemical constituents, consistent with reasonable intellectual property protections, used in the hydraulic fracturing process utilizing a public chemical disclosure registry such as; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Congress should repeal Section 322 of the Energy Policy Act of 2004 (P.L. 109-58), exempts hydraulic fracturing from the protections imposed by the Safe Drinking Water Act.  Allow states and municipalities to enact more stringent regulations…

Select Members of the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Policy & Advocacy Committee


Clifford “Kip” Allen, Councilman/President, Borough of Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Diana McGlone, Council Member, Borough of Middletown, Pennsylvania
John B. Callahan, Mayor, City of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Brad Koplinski, Council Member, City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

West Virginia

Margaret Ann Bailey, Mayor, City of Clarksburg, West Virginia

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Randal S Mick November 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I am pleased to see that communities will have protection from contaminating water supplies. The concern I have is that a lot of people that are affected by this live in rural areas. They depend on well water and livestock depends on local streams. These people dont have city water and the quality of country living is always based on water supply. Dont get me wrong, I love that people are becoming aware but I want to see that folks who live back in the hollows and hills can maintain a great quality of life that we have shared for generations. NO COMPANY has any right changing or affecting that in a negative manor. The days of taking advantage if good people and destroying the land and water for profits should end. We are opening our eyes now.


kristen November 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Randal….WELL SAID:}}}}


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