Oil companies drilling in the Marcellus shale have voiced their opinion that the new national standards the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to create will not have much impact. The EPA announced its intention to create new regulations in a statement released October 20, which created discourse on behalf of both industry proponents and environmentalists, The Associated Press reports.
The EPA is planning to use its new rules to govern federally regulated pretreatment facilities involved in the processing of natural gas, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. These facilities process wastewater that is produced by natural gas drilling before transporting it to municipal sewage systems that fall under the regulations of the state. At these sites, the water experiences its final processing and disposal.
"No comprehensive set of national standards exists at this time for the disposal of wastewater discharged from natural-gas extraction activities, and over the coming months, EPA will begin the process of developing a proposed standard with the input of stakeholders," the EPA said in the statement.
Michael L. Krancer, a secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection, stated that inadequately treated wastewater discharges had become virtually nonexistent due to upgraded regulations at the state level, the media outlet reports.