The Department of Environmental Quality has updated its rules for hydraulic fracturing. The controversial process, also called fracking, involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a drilled oil or gas well, then sealing and pressurizing it to crack layers of rock far below the surface and release gas and oil.
DEQ officials say the changes will increase information available to concerned residents and keep better track of water impacts.
The DEQ's new rules, revised for the first time since 2011, require baseline water well testing in surrounding areas before high-volume fracking operations.
Developers must fully disclose the types and volumes of chemicals being injected into the ground. But will have up to 30 days after a fracking operation to post the chemicals used.
Developers must also disclose in their permit applications whether they intend to do high-volume fracking and details of their plan.
High-volume fracking operations’ water use and its impacts will be monitored with a state evaluation tool known as the Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool.