Starting today, gas drilling companies are required to inform the federal government of where they want to do hydraulic fracturing.
According to an article written for E&E (Environment and Energy) Publishing, which publishes five daily online publications, EPA is requiring companies provide two-day electronic notification before commencing hydraulic drilling operations.
The rule, according to the publishing company, is part of a series of air rules EPA finalized for hydraulic fracturing or fracking earlier this year, called the New Source Performance Standards, in which drillers have to capture methane emissions that normally would be emitted during the fracturing process.
An industry spokesman quoted in the article said companies must provide geographic coordinates for wells being fracked.
It will be interesting to see what sort of backlash, if any, you'll see from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Gov. Tom Corbett is a vehement supporter of natural gas drilling and his DEP secretary, Mike Krancer, has made it clear his suspicions of EPA when it comes to the Chesapeake Bay as well as the agency's effort to get involved in natural gas drilling regulations.
I guess it's too soon to speculate what sort of impact this will have on gas well drilling or what will happen if companies refuse to comply, but we'll see.
I'll be attending a Marcellus Shale conference on Oct. 29 in Williamsport. We'll see if the subject comes up. - Chris Torres