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    A brine injection well owned by Northstar Disposal Services LLC is seen in Youngstown, Ohio, with the skyline of Youngstown in the distance. A dozen earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were almost certainly induced by injection of gas-drilling wastewater into the earth, state regulators said Friday, March 9, 2012 as they announced a series of tough new rules for drillers. Fracking was halted in Ohio after two major earthquakes were felt in Youngstown in March, 2014.

    US to Get Final Fracking Rules on Friday

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    The US government will unveil a set of long-awaited safety regulations requiring drilling companies to disclose what the chemicals are used. The regulations will also set standards for well digging and the disposal of wastewater.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Obama administration is expected to announce on Friday a set of long-awaited safety regulations concerning hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, after evaluations of its environmental impact caused concern among scientists and environmentalists and led to nationwide protests.

    The drilling technology, which involves pumping a highly-toxic mix of chemicals into the ground at high pressure to break up rocks and release natural gas and crude oil, has been surrounded with controversy amid evidence that it pollutes ground water and causes earthquakes.

    The US government will unveil new fracking rules on Friday requiring drilling companies to disclose what the chemicals are used. The regulations will also set standards for well digging and the disposal of wastewater, according to US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

    Speaking in Washington on Tuesday, Jewell said the rules will include "measures to protect our nation's groundwater – requiring operators to construct wells, to disclose the chemicals they use, and to safely recover and handle fluids used in the process."

    She noted some people in the industry have already described the regulations as "overly burdensome," but added "most Americans would call them common sense."

    The regulations will only apply to fracking operations on public lands.

    Last month, the US Secretary of the Interior spoke out against states that imposed restrictions, or outright banned, fracking, such as New York. Speaking with California's KQED television, Jewell said that states that outlawed fracking "don't understand the science behind it."

    "The responsibility for developing this energy safely must now be taken up in state capitals, engineering labs, and board rooms all across the country," the interior policy chief stated.

    The long-delayed fracking regulations are the first attempt by the US government to lay down guidelines for the young industry. The rules have been in the works since 2012, as the administration of US President Barack Obama tried to balance support for a technology which offered temporary petrochemical energy independence with environmental concerns.


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