Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) on Federal and Indian Lands

The Environmental & Energy Law Program is tracking the environmental regulatory rollbacks of the Trump administration. Click here for the list of rules we are following.

Why it Matters

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 258 million acres of public lands, and nearly 700 million acres of sub-surface minerals such as oil and gas. These minerals are found beneath land managed by agencies such as the Fish & Wildlife Service, as well as private landowners. The rules for federal land and minerals development were written long before high volume hydraulic fracturing and other modern technologies were used to produce oil and gas. This rule modernizes BLM’s program to ensure protection of drinking water with a particular focus on requiring disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking.

Current Status

On December 29, 2017 BLM formally rescinded the rule. On January 24, 2018 the State of California and a coalition of environmental groups sued BLM over the rescission in the Northern District of California. The American Petroleum Institute intervened in the lawsuit.

On June 4, 2018 the Tenth Circuit denied January 2018 motions filed by North Dakota and the Ute Indian Tribe shortly after BLM formally rescinded the rule to dismiss the the case challenging the initial rule as moot and for lack of jurisdiction. — Wyoming v. Zinke, No. 16-8068 (10th Cir.).

On July 17, 2018 the Northern District of California denied a motion to transfer the litigation challenging BLM’s rescission of the rule to Wyoming.

Click here learn more about the history of this rule and the latest updates.



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