Over a year ago the Department of the Interior released a draft of a proposed rule governing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on public lands.  We blogged about the details of that version of the proposal upon its unofficial release.

After withdrawing the original draft based on concerns of overregulation and potentially intrusive disclosure requirements, the Department of the Interior has drawn up a new plan.  

Key Updates:

Key updates to this new version of the proposed rule include, in the Department’s words:

“(1) The use of an expanded set of cement evaluation tools to help ensure that usable water zones have been isolated and protected from contamination; and

(2) More detailed guidance on how trade secrets claims will be handled, modeled on the procedures promulgated by the State of Colorado.”

30-Day Public Comment Period:

The proposed rule is already on the Department of the Interior’s website, although it has not yet been published in the Federal Register.  Once this happens, a 30-day public comment period will open up.