As several news reports surrounding the resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson noted (such as this Reuters story), the federal agency’s role in regulating hydraulic fracturing is one of many high stakes issues her replacement must address this year.
One fracking item left unaddressed is a petition filed by a coalition of activist groups with EPA last October. The activists want fracking-related emissions reported to the government’s “toxic release inventory” (TRI) under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act.
Activist groups like the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), which leads the petitioning coalition, want us to believe that fracking is an unregulated activity desperately in need of federal control. In reality, the states have been actively regulating the industry for decades and continue to modify their rules to reflect recent developments.
In seeking to impose the Right to Know Act, the petitioners faced a major complication: the emissions from many of the fracking facilities would fall well below the Act’s reporting thresholds. The TRI initiative applies to facilities processing more than 25,000 pounds or using more than 10,000 pounds of one of the listed chemicals. Continue reading “Leftover on the Next EPA Administrator’s Plate: Supersized Portions of Fracking Regulation?”