Yesterday, the EPA announced that it will put in place guidance to regulate the use of diesel fuel when used in hydraulic fracturing. EPA has already stated that oil and gas companies must get a Safe Drinking Water Act permit if they wish to use diesel fuel when fracking, though the industry has filed a lawsuit around this issue.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson made this announcement at the 2011 U.S. Energy Information Administration conference. Hopefully, this move will clarify the legal issues surrounding the injection of diesel fuel, and will help protect water resources in the 34 states where oil and gas is produced.
Because of a Congressional investigation into the use of diesel fuel used during fracking, we know that companies injected 32 million gallons of diesel fuel between 2005 and 2009 without securing Safe Drinking Water Act permits from the EPA.
I hope that this will be the first of many steps that the EPA will take to regulate oil and gas production.