Federal Water Tap, May 7: Fracking Fracas

The Proposal
Under a rule the Obama administration submitted for review on Friday, energy companies using hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and gas on public lands would be required to disclose the chemicals they use in the process, the New York Times reports. However, owing to industry lobbying, companies will be allowed to wait until drilling is completed to reveal what’s in their fracking fluid.

The Response
At a congressional field hearing in Denver, state officials from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming criticized the Obama administration’s proposal, saying that state regulators are doing a sufficient job, the Denver Post reports.

The Inside Game
The Environmental Protection Agency is studying the effects of fracking on groundwater in Wyoming. The Associated Press learned, through emails obtained by a records request, that the state’s governor persuaded the head of the EPA to delay publicly announcing a link between the gas drilling process and groundwater contamination so that the state could organize a campaign to question the findings.

Groundwater Study
The U.S. Geological Survey released a study of groundwater quality across the United States. The study compares changes in chloride, total dissolved solids and nitrate from the decade ending in 2010 to levels measured in the preceding decade. Some 56 well networks were tested, and two-thirds saw a statistically significant increase in at least one pollutant metric. The changes are displayed on this interactive map.

Pollution Rules
The EPA continued its work on rules regulating runoff from logging roads by sending a draft to the Office of Management and Budget for evaluation, Greenwire reports.

Climate Change and National Security
At a reception hosted by the Environmental Defense Fund, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke about how the nation’s military is affected by environmental and energy issues, according to Greenwire. In its most recent four-year review, in 2010, the Defense Department said that climate change would play a role in national security plans.

Carbon Capture
If we aren’t going to stop burning the stuff, maybe there’s room for it in the basement. Identifying the best spots, among the subterranean nooks and crannies, is the purpose of a new Department of Energy atlas of underground storage sites. Last year, the DOE broke ground for a demonstration carbon capture project at an ethanol plant in Illinois.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program, which coordinates across federal agencies the study of social and environmental changes, has released its final research plan for the decade ending in 2021. Using rigorous science to support policy decisions is a primary goal.

Calls for Applications
The U.S. State Department is soliciting applications to develop a workshop on the optimal operation of dams in developing countries, for both technical and environmental parameters. The deadline is June 4.

The Rural Utilities Service, a part of the Department of Agriculture, has nearly US$1 million in grant money to give out to non-profits to establish lending programs for repairing or constructing household wells. The deadline is June 4.

Federal Water Tap is a weekly digest spotting trends in U.S. government water policy. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

1 reply
  1. Paul Felix Schott says:

    Hydraulic Fracturing a Danger to us All.

    Only the wicked in mind Leaders in this Nation and around the world would let anyone Pipe Pollution into the ground to get gas in return from the Ground. Most all scientist have know this for many years that this will end safe drinking water for all that are in the area of where they are fracturing, in which Millions of Gallons of Dangerous Poison Chemically Treated Water are forced underground to break up rock and free gas. We need regulations from GODLY People that will stop 10,000+ wells a year drilled using hydraulic fracturing to free and make the Dangerous Poison Chemicals underground into gas. The primarily affect will be unsafe drinking water and many will become sick. THE HEALTH OF MANY WILL DETERIORATE because of A Few Wicked Greedy Leaders. Those who have made these decisions do not know Jesus Christ. Soon He will say i know you not. They belong in jail soon it will be hell for them. What sick in mind would let or want anyone to put Dangerous Poison Chemicals underground or into the ground anywhere.

    The wicked are trying to sell and tell all if it is not near your home or land it is safe. This is the biggest ling of horse manure. Do they think most of We The People are that dumb or that most Americans lack any intelligence at all. What ever is put on or in the ground makes it way to our underground Aquifers, Rivers, Lakes and the Oceans. Every Scientist on Earth knows this and most all that have made it to eighth grade in school.

    So why would any Leader with a good healthy mind ever say or want this?

    Vote any wicked that has anything to do with this out of office they work for WE THE PEOPLE.

    United We Stand In GOD We Trust

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott

    Wicked Leaders telling their friends as long as you can cover it up and it will not get back to me it is ok with me. Are you sure we will not go to jail for making money by Polluting the ground and water. Of course not we make the laws to fit our needs not the health and welfare of others or as they used to say We The People. Its now the Wicked Leaders and rich Rule. Till our Lord GOD comes!

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