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Comment Period Opens for USEPA Draft Guidance for Hydraulic Fracturing Using Diesel FuelEPA diesel

The USEPA recently unveiled its draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II permitting guidance for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, stimulates wells and aids in the recovery of oil and natural gas from coalbeds and shale gas formations such as the Bakken in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. Diesel is frequently used in fracking solutions in colder climates.

Senator John Hoeven has been pushing the USEPA to provide a process for states to provide input on the diesel fracking guidelines, saying the definition of diesel fuel needs to be realistic and definitive, and the states need adequate time to implement them. “Companies need to know the rules of the road, so that they can invest in the kinds of new technologies that will produce more energy with better environmental stewardship,” Sen. Hoeven said. “Also, states need to be able to continue to manage hydraulic fracturing accounting for their own circumstances rather than have the EPA impose a one-size-fits-all approach across the country.”  

Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, fracking received an exemption from USEPA regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act if diesel was among the compounds used in the process. The USEPA has developed the new draft guidance to clarify how companies can comply with the 2005 law. The draft outlines the requirements for diesel fuels used for hydraulic fracturing wells, technical recommendations for permitting those wells, and a description of diesel fuels for underground injection control permitting for USEPA permit writers.

While this draft guidance is in the public notice and comment period, decisions about permitting hydraulic fracturing operations that use diesel fuels will be made on a case-by-case basis. To participate in the public input process, fill out an online comment form by clicking here.

 

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