State proposes new “fracking” rules

Michigan Public Radio Network

State environmental regulators have rolled out proposed new rules to cover hydraulic “fracking” for natural gas. “Fracking” is a process where developers pump water and chemicals into a well to clear a path to hard-to-reach deposits of gas.

Dan Wyant is the director of the state Department of Environmental Quality. He said Michigan, unlike some other states, has a safe record when it comes to “fracking.” But there are newer methods being used now, and Wyant said the public deserves to be confident the environment is protected.

“Michigan is an oil-and-gas state. We’re a Top 14, 15 state in the nation, oil and gas, so we anticipate this being done in Michigan in the future, so we have to be prepared.”

The new rules would require more reporting on water use, and make it easier for people to know where wells are being fracked as well as the chemicals that are being used.

A recent petition drive to ban fracking fizzled, but Democrats are also pushing for tougher regulations in the Legislature.

Copyright 2013, MPRN