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Natural Gas

Facing Low Gas Prices, EPA Eyes New Data To Justify Coalbed Effluent Limit

EPA is weighing how to gather additional economic and production data from the coalbed methane (CBM) drilling sector after industry officials recently warned that low natural gas prices may make it difficult for the agency to show that its planned effluent limitation guideline (ELG) for the sector is "economically achievable," as the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires, industry sources say.

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Energy Sector Urges Obama To Increase Coordination Of Fracking Oversight

The oil and gas industry is calling on President Obama for a more coordinated approach to federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing, warning that having EPA and seven other agencies considering regulations for the sector is chilling new investment and production.

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Issa Targets EPA's Fracking Plans

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chair of the House oversight panel, is asking EPA to clarify its “internal” plans for regulating hydraulic fracturing, saying interagency comments on EPA's utility air toxics rule suggest the agency might regulate fracking so strictly it will not be a viable source of natural gas.

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Despite Legal Limit, EPA Using Superfund To Address Likely Drilling Waste

EPA is using its Superfund law authority to investigate and address hazardous substances found in drinking water wells in Pennsylvania and Wyoming that the agency is signaling could have been caused by natural gas drilling, a rare move since the law has rarely been used to address oil and gas drilling operations.

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Researchers Defend Claims On Shale Gas' GHG Footprint

The authors of a controversial 2011 Cornell study are defending their conclusion that the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of natural gas generation is larger than coal's, a finding that undercut claims that gas could provide a bridge fuel until cleaner energy sources could be scaled.

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EPA Lists Top Fracking Concerns But Fears Data Limits May Slow Policy

A top adviser to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is ranking the agency's core environmental concerns related to hydraulic fracturing, with strains on water supply as a top issue.

But EPA's senior policy counsel Robert Sussman is warning that a lack of strong scientific conclusions about actual impacts could hamper the agency's ability to promulgate policies to protect against potential adverse impacts where state regulations fall short.

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EPA Push To Strengthen New York Fracking Rules May Signal Agency Plans

EPA is urging New York to tighten limits for radioactive constituents in wastewater generated from hydraulic fracturing operations in the state's pending draft rules for natural gas development, a move that environmentalists hope indicates how the agency will address the issue in its own pending pretreatment standards for the shale gas industry.

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GAO Slated To Probe EPA Pretreatment Program Amid Water Utility Split

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is launching a probe of EPA's effluent limitation guidelines (ELG) program under the Clean Water Act (CWA), and though the scope is not yet clear, sources say the study will likely examine the portion of the ELG program dealing with pretreatment standards -- which has long been the source of divisions among wastewater utilities.

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Defending EPA Fracking Studies

Citizen groups are staunchly defending draft EPA findings that hydraulic fracturing fluids likely contaminated a drinking water aquifer in Pavillion, WY -- a conclusion that has come under attack from industry, state and some GOP officials who fear the agency will use its study to support stricter controls on the controversial drilling practice.

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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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