BOISE, Idaho — The Environmental Protection Agency is extending the public comment period for its proposed regulations for the controversial method of extracting natural gas, known as “fracking.”
The federal agency agreed to the extension with environmental groups that sued. The agreement adds 30 days for the public to weigh in, setting Nov. 30 as the new deadline as November 30. Now the final adoption of the rules is set for next April.
The EPA regulation of hydraulic fracturing comes as conservation groups and residents of areas where the practice is widespread — including the Appalachian and Rocky Mountain regions — are voicing concern and taking legal action against the process. Energy companies have rebutted complaints, saying the practice is safe. The proposed standards are meant to reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations.
Idaho is one state currently updating its fracking rules after several companies expressed an interest in fracking near the town of New Plymouth. Bridge Energy drilled test wells and is currently waiting for the go-ahead from the state to begin fracking.