General Assembly Committee Approves Tennessee's First Set of Regulations on "Fracking"

May 23, 2013


A legislative committee has approved the state’s first regulations for extracting oil and natural gas from wells, a practice known as fracking. Yesterday’s vote by the General Assembly’s joint committee on government operations means the rules will go into effect next month. One motion would have required companies to periodically test water wells within a mile of the drilling sites, to disclose all the chemicals they use, and to file plans on what to do with leftover waste water, but that motion did not pass. The rules do effect operations that involve more than 200,000 gallons of water, by requiring tests on water wells within a half mile of the site and the disclosure of what chemicals are used. There is an exception for protecting so-called "trade secrets". The Department of Environment and Conservation oversees and enforces those rules.