DOI Releases Draft Rule Requiring Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure on Public and Indian Lands
May 16, 2012
On May 11, the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a Federal Register Notice (FR 27691) announcing the release of a proposed rule to require companies to publicly disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations on public and Indian lands. The rule was created by the BLM, in support of President Obama’s energy strategy and the Administration’s goal of continuing to expand responsible oil and gas production.
The rule contains the following three measures to ensure development continues safely and responsibly, and is in line with steps that some states have already taken requiring operators to disclose the chemicals they use in activities on state lands.
- Providing disclosure to the public of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing on public land and Indian land;
- Improving assurances on well-bore integrity to verify that fluids used in wells during fracturing operations are not escaping; and
- Confirming that oil and gas operators have a water management plan in place for handling fracturing fluids that flow back to the surface.
Comments are due to BLM by July 10 in accordance with the 60-day comment period. The public, governments, industry and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide their input.