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POLITICS: PennAve

Fracking rules expected to be finished in September

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Politics,Interior,PennAve,Energy and Environment,Fracking,Zack Colman,BLM,Native Americans,Oil,Water Pollution,Natural Disasters

Regulations for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on federal lands are undergoing final review at the White House and are expected to be finalized in September.

The rules proposed by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management would institute guidelines governing the drilling method on public and tribal land. The agency sent the rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget earlier this week.

"The final rule will update decades old regulations of hydraulic fracturing procedures, and bring these requirements into the 21st Century to keep pace with modern best practices," an Interior official said in an email.

Both fracking opponents and supporters have criticized the federal approach to regulating the practice, which injects a high-pressure cocktail of water, sand and chemicals into tight-rock formations to tap oil and gas buried deep underneath.

Industry and conservatives have said they are duplicative, noting states already regulate fracking. Some environmental groups have said the proposed rules don't go far enough because companies wouldn't be required to disclose the chemicals they use before beginning drilling.

The rules would set standards for managing so-called flowback water, for establishing the integrity of a well and would require drillers to use industry-favored database FracFocus to disclose chemicals after drilling is completed.

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