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Ohio Utica Shale

Kansas utility regulators considering new drilling rules

By Bob Downing Published: July 23, 2013

From the Associated Press:

Kansas utility regulators are considering new rules to require oil and natural gas companies to disclose some information about the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing, but representatives of an environmental group said Monday that the regulations wouldn’t go far enough.

The Topeka Capital Journal reports that an attorney the Kansas Corporation Commission outlined the proposed rules Monday for a joint legislative committee that reviews administrative regulations. The KCC plans to have a hearing Aug. 10 in Wichita on the proposed rules and is taking comments in writing or by email.

 

The rules would require companies to disclose the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, with water under high pressure to crack open rock formations and release oil and natural gas. The information would have to be listed on a KCC database or in an existing online industry database.

Companies could avoid disclosing all of the details if the chemicals they used were a trade secret. Those substances still would have to be disclosed to the KCC and other state and local officials if there’s a problem, even if it’s not an emergency.

“This is as far as other states have gone,” said Ryan Hoffman, the KCC attorney who outlined the proposed regulations for legislators.

Environmentalists contend hydraulic fracturing is threat to groundwater. Zack Pistora, a lobbyist for the Kansas Sierra Club, said the proposed rules are “a good step,” but added, “We still don’t have full transparency from the oil and gas industry.”

“They’re kind of cherry-picking what they want to tell you,” he said.

 

The oil and gas industry sees the process as safe. And last week, a federal study on hydraulic fracturing showed no evidence of chemicals from the process at a western Pennsylvania site moving up to contaminate drinking water aquifers.

State agencies don’t need legislators’ permission to put new administrative regulations into effect. However, lawmakers can suggest changes and — if they feel strongly enough — push legislation to overturn any rules.

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

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Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.