Obama administration tightens rules on chemical disclosure
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations.
A final rule released Friday also updates requirements for well construction and disposal of water and other fluids used in fracking, a drilling method that has prompted an ongoing boom in natural gas production.
The rule has been under consideration for more than three years, drawing criticism from the oil and gas industry and environmental groups. The industry fears the regulation could hinder the drilling boom. The groups worry that it will allow unsafe drilling techniques to pollute groundwater.
The rule relies on an online database used by at least 16 states to track the chemicals used in fracking operations.
The rule takes effect in June.