Interior Department Issues Final Rule on Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Standards
The US Department of the Interior released on 20 March its final rule through which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would implement new regulations for hydraulic fracturing activity on US and federal and Indian lands.
The new rule, which will take effect in 90 days, would require oil and gas companies to validate the integrity of well construction and require companies to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing to BLM through the website FracFocus within 30 days of completing fracturing operations on a well. It also would ban the use of wastewater pits at drilling sites, requiring companies to use above ground tanks instead, to mitigate the impact of recovered waste fluids on air, water, and wildlife.
Additionally, companies would have to submit more detailed information on geology, depth, and location of pre-existing wells to allow BLM to better evaluate and manage the risks of cross-well contamination with chemicals and fluids used in a fracturing operation that could result in a spill or blowout.