EPA Announces Air Pollution Regulations For Hydraulic Fracking

Apr 18, 2012

This morning, the Environmental Protection Agency released federal standards under the Clean Air Act that will control air pollution from hydraulically fractured natural gas and oil wells.

This is the first set of federal standards to control air pollution from fracking.

The regulations aim to decrease air pollution caused by volatile organic compounds and other chemicals… and will also reduce the amount of methane, which is a greenhouse gas, released into the air.

Policy Director of the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Climate and Clean Air Program, David Doniger,  says the regulations are moving in the right direction.  

"When they are fully implemented they will cut the pollution by about a quarter. You could do a lot more. And we’ll be pressing EPA and the companies to curb all of their dangerous air pollution, not just a quarter. But it is a good step forward," said Doniger. 

Industry has until 2015 to adjust to the new standards.

The EPA expects that the rules will encourage updates to technology within the industry and that industry will save 11 to 19 million dollars in 2015 from the captured and resold gas at well sites.

The EPA is also currently working on standards that would address water issues related to fracking.