Two Lawsuits Challenge BLM’s Regulation of Fracking

Two Lawsuits Challenge BLM’s Regulation of Fracking

State attorneys general and industry groups have brought two separate lawsuits challenging the federal Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) regulation of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) on federal lands.  The regulations set standards for well construction and inspection, require companies to disclose chemicals they use, and require waste-water to be stored in storage tanks rather than open pits.  One lawsuit claims that there were deficiencies in the rule-making process, that the rules lack scientific support, and that the rules are duplicative of state standards.  The other lawsuit argues that the BLM lacks power to regulate water resources or underground injection.  If successful, this theory may have sweeping implications for any other federal agency’s future attempts to regulate fracking or waste-water disposal. [4/29/15]

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