EPA releases draft permitting guidance for diesel fuel in fracing


05 04, 2012 by Oil & Gas Journal

The US Environmental Protection Agency released draft underground injection control (UIC) program permitting guidance for Class II wells that use diesel fuel during hydraulic fracturing. The draft guidance aims to clarify how companies can comply with a 2005 law that made fracing exempt from the requirement to have a UIC permit except when diesel is used as a fracing fluid, EPA said.

It said the draft guidance outlines for EPA permit writers, where the agency is the permitting authority, requirements for diesel fuels used for fracing wells, technical recommendations for permitting those wells, and a description of diesel fuels for EPA underground injection control permitting. The draft guidance also describes diesel fuels for these purposes by reference to six chemical abstract services registry numbers, a description on which EPA is requesting input.

EPA said it will accept comments on the draft guidance for 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register. During this period, permitting decisions on fracing operations using diesel fuels will be made on a case-by-case basis, considering the facts and circumstances of the specific injection activity and applicable statutes, regulations, and case law, and will not cite this draft guidance as a basis for a decision, it said.

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