For Release: August 29, 2011
Contact: Cyrus Reed, 512-740-4086 or Donna Hoffman, 512-477-1729
Railroad Commission and U.S. EPA Implementing New Rules
Sierra Club Welcomes Safeguards on Oil and Gas Industry in
(Austin, TX) Today the Railroad Commission of Texas proposed
a new rule for implementing HB 3328, the mandatory
natural gas ‘fracking’ disclosure bill passed by the Legislature earlier this year. Under the Commission’s proposal, drillers of new natural gas wells will be required to begin reporting their use of chemicals, additives and base fluids as soon as the rules go into effect.
"The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club appreciates
the hard work of the Railroad Commission staff and its commissioners
in issuing a proposal sooner rather than waiting until 2012
as required under the law," stated Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “With
natural gas companies fracking at lightning speed all over
the state -- in the Barnett Shale in North Central Texas,
the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, Haynesville Shale in
East Texas and the Permian Basin in West Texas, it is past
time to require that operators tell the public what chemicals
they are sending down their gas production wells. We urge
the public to read the proposed rule, make comments and attend
the public meeting in October. Mandatory disclosure is a
good first step toward proper regulation of oil and gas exploration."
The proposed rules will be published in the Texas register for a 30-day public comment period beginning in early September, and the Railroad Commission has scheduled a public hearing on October 5th in Austin. Assuming the Commissioners adopt a final rule in early November, the rules will become effective in late November.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Oil and Gas Facilities Rule-making
In addition to the proposed rules by the Railroad Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new air emissions standards on oil and gas facilities.
The EPA will hold three
public meetings – on
September 27, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 28,
in Denver, Colorado, and September 29, in Arlington, Texas.
The Arlington hearing will be held from 9:00 AM CST until
8:00 PM CST at the Arlington Municipal Building in the City
Council Chambers located at 101 W. Abram Street, Arlington,
Texas 76010; telephone: (817) 459-6122.
Individuals and organizational representatives can contact: Ms. Joan C. Rogers (919) 541-4487; fax number: (919) 541-3470;
method for registering), no later than by 4:00 p.m. (Eastern
Standard Time), 2 business days prior to each hearing. (i.e.
by 3:00 p.m.CST on September 27 for the meeting on the 29th.)