Michigan changes fracking laws

LANSING, Mich., May 27 (UPI) -- Energy companies extracting natural gas from Michigan shale must operate under new disclosure rules, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said.

The MDEQ issued new rules for energy companies working to extract natural gas from shale deposits in Michigan.


Energy companies use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to coax natural gas out of underground rock formations. The process is under scrutiny because of the perceived potential for the chemicals used in fracking fluid to reach underground aquifers.

The MDEQ said operators must document from where and how much fresh water is used so regulators are ensured neither surface water nor neighboring wells are affected.

Operators are also required to post a Material Safety Data Sheet listing characteristics of the chemical additives used in fracking fluid. The operators must also submit records related to volumes, rates and pressures associated with fracking.

The MDEQ said fracking has been practiced in Michigan without incident since the 1940s.

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