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U.S. EPA Seeks Comments On Diesel Fracking Guidance

U.S. EPA is seeking comments on the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

The EPA is developing guidance on diesel fracking under the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Fracking is a technique used to economically extract natural gas from low permeability deposits such as shale. Fracking involves pumping large quantities of water mixed with sand or other proppants into shale formations at extremely high pressure to fracture the shale and release natural gas into capture wells. Fracking has become the target of growing interest, particularly due to its widespread use to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale formation in the eastern United States. Fracking does not require a permit under the SDWA as long as diesel fuel is not used in the fracking fluid. The EPA is seeking comment on permit requirements for diesel fracking to assist with development of guidance. U.S. EPA has indicated that the guidance will address several issues including:

  • definition of diesel fuel
  • public notification
  • siting criteria
  • potential conduits for fluid migration
  • well operation requirements
  • monitoring and reporting
  • permit duration
  • type of permit (e.g., area vs. individual)
  • permit application requirements
  • financial responsibility requirements

The EPA has posted information concerning the guidance it has under development at Written comments may be submitted to with the words “Diesel Fuels Guidance Comments” in the subject line by June 29, 2011. If you have questions about these issues, please contact the Environmental and Natural Resources Practice Group at Bingham Greenebaum Doll.

  • Partner

    Andy has provided environmental legal services to industrial, commercial and governmental clients for over 30 years. Andy's practice is concentrated in environmental law. He assists clients with permitting, remediation ...



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