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Natural Gas

Peer Review For Fracking Study

EPA is seeking nominations for a panel to peer review its high-profile draft report concluding that hydraulic fracturing operations in Wyoming likely contributed to contamination of a nearby aquifer, following pressure from industry and a GOP senator to seek the strictest review possible.

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Industry, GOP Fear EPA Fracking Investigations May Preempt Water Study

Industry and Republican sources are raising concerns that separate EPA investigations into whether hydraulic fracturing operations in Wyoming and Pennsylvania contaminated water supplies may preempt the finding of a broader EPA fracking study, and are also criticizing the differing approaches in the two existing investigations.

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Sizing Up Fracking's Seismic Risks

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is calling for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to launch an investigation into the seismic risks associated with hydraulic fracturing and related waste disposal activities following a series of earthquakes in Ohio that have already prompted calls for stricter EPA disposal regulations.

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Fracking Moratorium Sought

Public health researchers and environmentalists are calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until researchers have more comprehensive data on the health effects of a drilling practice that has boosted domestic natural gas and oil supplies.

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Activists Hope Fracking Disposal Quakes Bolster Push To End RCRA Waiver

Environmentalists are pointing to a series of earthquakes in Ohio believed to be caused by a disposal well used to store wastewater from hydraulic fracturing natural gas extraction operations to bolster their efforts to urge EPA to reverse a long-standing exemption excluding oil and gas wastewater from hazardous waste regulation.

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EPA Weighs Setting Possible First-Time Water Quality Criteria For Bromide

EPA is weighing whether to develop first-time water quality criteria for bromide, a pollutant found in wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations as well as discharges from cooling towers and emissions control technologies at coal-fired power plants.

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As EPA Rules Drive Push To Gas, New Utility Alliance Eyes Reliability Effects

Clarification Appended

As many as a dozen natural gas, electric power and renewable energy trade associations have quietly formed a major coalition to launch a dialogue on addressing concerns about the potential adverse impact on grid reliability from the power sector's shift from coal to gas, a move seen as driven in part by EPA's power sector regulations.

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EPA Seeks More ELG Comments

EPA is extending by 60 days the public comment period on its final plan for revising or crafting technology-based wastewater standards -- including controversial first-time rules for produced water from shale gas and coalbed methane extraction -- responding to requests from a slew of industry groups and elected officials.

The agency published its final 2010 effluent limitation guidelines (ELG) program plan on Oct. 26, ahead of a Nov. 25 deadline, but received multiple comment that the 30-day comment period is insufficient given the depth of information provided in the final plan.

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Bipartisan Group Of Senators Seeks Narrow EPA Diesel Fracking Definition

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing EPA to use a narrow definition of diesel fuel in its pending guidance on regulating hydraulic fracturing activities that use diesel fuel under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), adding to criticism from industry and some states that EPA's planned definition exceeds its SDWA authority.

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OMB Reviewing EPA Fracking Policies

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has begun a formal review of two key EPA policies for addressing hydraulic fracturing: a notice on guidance for determining when fracking operations that use diesel must seek permits and a notice that will set the agency on a path to crafting first-time rules requiring chemical manufacturers to disclose health and safety data on the substances used in fracking fluid.

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