US asks firms to reveal gas extraction liquid

Sep 10, 2010
US Enviornmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, pictured in May 2010. The US environmental regulator on Thursday asked gas companies to reveal what chemicals are used in deep extraction, addressing concerns by residents that their drinking water is being contaminated.

The US environmental regulator on Thursday asked gas companies to reveal what chemicals are used in deep extraction, addressing concerns by residents that their drinking water is being contaminated.

US companies have increasingly tapped shale gas, which lies deep underground and was once thought inaccessible. Firms force out the gas through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which a large volume of liquid is injected below.

The said it had sent letters to nine companies including energy giant Haliburton asking for data within 30 days on the chemicals involved in fracking.

The agency's chief, Lisa Jackson, said the data would "help us make a thorough and efficient review of and determine the best path forward."

"Natural gas is an important part of our nation's energy future, and it's critical that the extraction of this valuable natural resource does not come at the expense of safe water and healthy communities," Jackson said.

The agency said it was asking the companies to turn over data voluntarily but could try to force them if they did not comply.

Under a law signed by then president George W. Bush in 2005, fluids used in fracking were exempted from environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act.

But a number of communities have since complained that fracking has polluted their drinking water.

In the documentary "Gasland," which won the Special Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival, filmmaker Josh Fox showed families in a drilling area whose was even flammable.

President Barack Obama's administration last month held a first-of-a-kind international conference to promote shale , calling it a plentiful resource that can curb emissions of carbon blamed for .

Explore further: Indonesia to ratify ASEAN haze agreement

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hundreds attend EPA hearing on Pa. gas drilling

Jul 22, 2010

(AP) -- Hundreds of people are attending a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hearing in southwestern Pennsylvania on a controversial natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

EPA hears from gas drillers, angry Pa. residents

Jul 23, 2010

(AP) -- Federal researchers studying a natural gas drilling technique that involves blasting chemical-laced water into the ground got an earful from residents who say it's poisoning them and killing their animals and from ...

EPA takes new look at gas drilling, water issues

Jul 21, 2010

(AP) -- So vast is the wealth of natural gas locked into dense rock deep beneath Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio that some geologists estimate it's enough to supply the entire East Coast for ...

Process could clean up water used in natural gas drilling

Mar 12, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Texas A&M Engineering is playing a role in a technological breakthrough that could clean up the contaminated water recovered from drilling natural gas wells in shale deposits through the process of "hydraulic ...

U.S. attacks problem of 'produced water'

Jun 20, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy has designed a Web program to help oil and natural gas companies solve the environmental challenge of produced water.

Recommended for you

Politics divide coastal residents' views of environment

31 minutes ago

From the salmon-rich waters of Southeast Alaska to the white sand beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast to Downeast Maine's lobster, lumber and tourist towns, coastal residents around the U.S. share a common characteristic: ...

Earthworms as nature's free fertilizer

4 hours ago

Earthworm presence in the soil increases crop yield, shows a new study that was published this week in Scientific Reports. "This is not unexpected," says Jan Willem van Groenigen, associate professor in the ...

A success in managed pressure drilling

4 hours ago

As one of BP's top 40 wells globally (and the only UK well qualifying for that category in 2012), the successful delivery of the Harding field's 'Producer North East 2a' well (referred to as PNE2a) was crucial to the business. ...

Passion for the natural world clears the waters

4 hours ago

A toxic legacy has hung over the picturesque northern NSW coastal hamlet of Urunga for almost 40 years. Although now obscured by dense vegetation, the forest of dead melaleuca trees at the edge of a wetland ...

User comments : 0