EPA Releases Draft Permitting Guidance for Using Diesel Fuel in Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 7, 2012

Follow up to previous posting on fracturing, on May 4, 2012 “the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released draft underground injection control (UIC) program permitting guidance for class II wells that use diesel fuels during hydraulic fracturing activities. EPA developed the draft guidance to clarify how companies can comply with a law passed by Congress in 2005, which exempted hydraulic fracturing operations from the requirement to obtain a UIC permit, except in cases where diesel fuel is used as a fracturing fluid…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.”

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