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New Fracking Regulations Start January 1

Dec 30, 2013

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Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new law to regulate the controversial oil extraction process known as “fracking” goes into effect in California on January 1st. Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento.

The oil industry says the new regulations will be some of the strictest in the nation. But some environmental groups that called for a moratorium on the process say the regulations don’t go far enough to protect water and air quality.

Under the law, oil companies will have to disclose chemicals used in the fracking process, although there are some limitations for trade secrets.

Tupper Hull with the Western States Petroleum Association says the regulations will require companies to monitor groundwater and notify neighbors.

“ I think at the end of the day they will give Californians the kind of confidence they expect that technologies used to produce vital energy is being used prudently and safely,” says Hull.

The interim regulations go into effect in 2014. But in 2015 more permanent regulations will require operators to obtain permits and will require an independent scientific study of the process.