State legislatures seek to regulate fracking

A number of state legislatures across the country are considering proposals that would regulate hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” to extract natural gas, according to a report released by National Conference of State Legislators.

Policy makers, who are responsible for ensuring that regulations are in place to protect the environment and public health, also recognize the revenue potential the shale gas industry could bring to state and local economies, according to report.

As of March 2012, at least 137 bills in 24 states have been introduced the session that address hydraulic fracturing. At least six states—Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah—have enacted legislation.

State legislatures are actively working to alleviate public health and environmental concerns while also taking advantage of the economic potential offered by shale gas development. Specific proposals include severance tax structure changes; impact fees; well spacing requirements; set-back requirements; waste treatment and disposal regulations; and requirements to publicly disclose the names and/or composition of fracturing fluid chemicals.

Here is the link to the complete report.