News & Updates
One Year Anniversary of FracFocus
The proposed rulemaking will modify the Department's existing regulations and promulgate new regulations related to the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) to facilitate production of natural gas from wells permitted by the Department. Also included in the proposed rules are updates to the Department's oil and gas and State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System regulations.
HOUSTON August 24, 2011 (OGJ) The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued an emergency rule to increase regulatory oversight of unconventional natural gas drilling.
Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wrote an executive order July 12 telling DEP to create regulations until legislators agree on permanent unconventional drilling regulations. Existing rules only cover conventional drilling.
Within the next few weeks, FracFocus will begin using a new Google maps like interface that will allow you to search for hydraulic fracturing records by pointing at their locations on a map and zooming in for closer inspection. This added feature should make the search function more intuitive and easier to use. The GIS function should be added sometime in September. Look for it!
Recently the state of Montana issued a hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure rule that allows operators to meet state reporting requirements by submitting chemical information through the FracFocus site. A similar rule is under review in Louisiana.
In Texas, the state legislature recently passed a law that allows operators to submit their chemical information to FracFocus as a means of meeting regulatory requirements.
In just over two months of operation, participating companies have uploaded more than 1,000 wells into the Fracfocus disclosure registry. The website has been visited more than 30,000 times by people in 89 countries. At present, 42 companies participate in the FracFocus registry system with more companies being added on an almost daily basis.
As the number of participating companies increases and automated uploading systems become more common, we expect the number of wells uploaded to the system to grow substantially over the next six months.
The GWPC and IOGCC have made intentional efforts to inform stakeholders and the interested public in the details of FracFocus development. Updates have been provided at a number of public meetings and more informal meetings with environmental groups, the public, state and federal regulators and industry representatives.
FracFocus, the national hydraulic fracturing chemical registry website went live on April 11, 2011.
Since April 11th, this joint project between the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission has been seen by more than 18,000 visitors in 78 countries. To date 37 companies have agreed to participate and 17 of these have already uploaded 444 wells to the site with more being added every day. The site has received dozens of inquiries and we want to thank all of those who have posted questions and comments.
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