Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced new requirements to address public concern about potential pollution connected with horizontal fracturing (fracking) for natural gas.
From the DEQ news release:
The requirements, issued as New Permitting Instructions by the state Supervisor of Wells, include:
- Changes to water usage oversight:operators will be required to document where they plan to get the fresh water used in the process using the DEQ’s water withdrawal tool, to ensure that neither surface water nor any neighboring water wells are impacted. They also will be required to report the total volume of fracturing water recovered during operation.
- Reporting: DEQ will require operators to disclose all Material Safety Data Sheets and will post that information on the department’s Web site for public review. The sheets list characteristics of the chemical additives and their potential health and environmental effects.
- Fracturing records: Operators are required to submit service company fracturing records and associated charts showing fracturing volumes, rates, and pressures.
In September, Michigan Watch, the investigative unit of Michigan Radio, highlighted some of the concerns about horizontal hydraulic fracturing.