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EPA Inspector General Reports on Hydraulic Fracturing Regulators

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a report entitled, “Enhanced EPA Oversight and Action Can Further Protect Water Resources From the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing.”  The report evaluates how EPA and state agencies have used existing authorities to address the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water resources, and also recommends two areas for EPA improvement.  First, the OIG recommends that EPA improve its oversight of Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit issuance for the use of diesel fuels in hydraulic fracturing.  Second, the report recommends that EPA develop an action plan to address public comments submitted in response to the agency’s May 2014 advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) related to possible federal chemical disclosure requirements.  The OIG found that EPA does not have a plan for responding to the comments submitted in response to the 2014 ANPR, nor for making a final determination on whether to proceed with a formal rulemaking.