New "Fracking" Regulations Released

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New draft California regulations for the controversial oil extracting technique known as “fracking” are now available. The rules are in response to legislation passed earlier this year.

The proposed regulations require the oil industry to obtain permits, notify neighbors of fracking, and disclose chemicals used in the practice, although there are some limitations for trade secrets. Department of Conservation Director Mark Nechodom says the regulations go a long way to increase public transparency.

“It increases the amount of data and information that the public can easily access about oil and gas production in general and about well-stimulation including hydraulic fracturing,” says Nechodom.

Environmentalists say definitions of well stimulation techniques are too narrow, and a required scientific study won’t provide enough time to determine if all forms of fracking are safe.

“These are extremely industry-friendly regulations, they in some respects meet the bare minimum mandate, but in some respects I don’t think they do,” says Kassie Siegel is with the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Department of Conservation plans six public meetings across the state. Final regulations will take effect January 2015.

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