The federal government is looking into whether natural gas drilling is contaminating drinking water. Before that study’s done, Congress might step in and tighten regulations now. Shawn Allee reports:
The federal government is looking into whether natural gas drilling is contaminating drinking water.
Shawn Allee reports, before that study’s done, Congress might step in and tighten regulations now.
Natural gas companies pump chemicals underground to loosen up the gas and get it to the surface.
It’s called hydraulic fracturing.
There’s debate about whether the chemicals poison water that’s underground, too.
Amy Mall tracks this issue for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group.
She says Congress might regulate this drilling through the Safe Drinking Water Act.
“What the legislation would do is make sure there’s a minimal federal floor of protection. So if your state has strong regulations, probably nothing would change, but if your state does not have strong regulations and they’re too weak, then under this legislation, your state would have to raise their standards.”
The natural gas industry points out the U-S Environmental Protection Agency already studied drilling back in 2004, and Congress decided there was no need for regulation.
Congressional critics suspect that study was biased in favor of industry.
For The Environment Report, I’m Shawn Allee.