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Environment


U.S. EPA issues regulation update
Regulators say they're in keeping with President Obama's call for rules that will protect the environment but not block critical energy resoucres development
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


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Tim Rudell
 
Drilling rig in the twilight near Paris in Stark County
Courtesy of Rudell
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In The Region:

The federal EPA is out with its first ever national standards for air pollution from fracking. That’s the aggressive, hydraulic fracturing method now widely used to shake loose oil and gas trapped in shale deep under the ground.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports. 

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Calling them “achievable air pollution standards for the oil and gas industry,” the U.S. EPA issued requirements aimed at cutting harmful emissions by drillers and well operators by 95 percent.

The new rules will phase in, with the final step coming in 2015.  And, federal regulators say half of the fracking operations in the country already have equipment needed to meet the upgraded standards.

In Ohio, the state EPA has broad home rule over pollution from gas and oil drilling.  Agency spokesman Mike Settles: “Ohio EPA will look at the new federal standards to see how they compare with standards that are already in place here. We’re going to need some time to study it; and where necessary, or desired, we will incorporate those federal standards into our own permitting process.”

U.S. EPA says one new requirement--that drillers capture and sell escaping methane and other gases that often got away during drilling and construction--should create enough revenue for operators to offset their costs of implementing the rest of new standards   I’m Tim Rudell, 89-7, WKSU.  


Related WKSU Stories

Kasich proposes new fracking rules
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ohio comes up with first guidelines for drilling in state parks, and House Speaker says a higher fracking tax is still being considered.
Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stark County is a "sweet spot" for fracking
Monday, April 9, 2012

Fracking where you least expect it
Thursday, April 5, 2012

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