Canada lays out fracking requirements

Sept. 13, 2013 at 7:50 AM

CALGARY, Alberta, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Canadian regulators published a 31-page document outlining onshore drilling requirements for operations involving hydraulic fracturing in western territories.

The Canadian National Energy Board said updated filing requirements address "unique aspects" of hydraulic fracturing.

New drilling technologies involving hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have led to increased oil and natural gas production in North America. Critics of the practice say it has a potential to degrade the environment.

The NEB published more than 30 pages of information outlining what energy companies need to do in order to meet the requirements. It said Thursday the filing requirements apply to fracking in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

"The board has heard the concerns of Canadians and is committed to continually improving the safety of hydraulic fracturing in Canada," Gaetan Caron, the NEB's chairman, said in a statement. "One of the ways the Board does this is by clearly communicating what it requires of regulated companies for hydraulic fracturing and holding those companies accountable."

The requirements include spill prevention plans as well as information on the chemical substances used in the process. Fluids used in fracking contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals that are viewed as a threat to drinking water.

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