[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 131 (Monday, July 9, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40354-40355]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16694]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OW-2011-1013; FRL 9697-6]


Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing 
Activities Using Diesel Fuels--Draft

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Extension of Comment Period.

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SUMMARY: EPA published on May 10, 2012, Permitting Guidance for Oil and 
Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels--Draft. The 
initial public comment period for this proposal was 60 days, ending on 
July 9, 2012. In response to requests from several stakeholders, this 
action extends the public comment period for an additional 45 days.

DATES: The deadline for submitting comments is August 23, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-
2011-1013 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: OW-Docket@epa.gov@epa.gov.
     Mail: Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic 
Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels--Draft, Environmental 
Protection Agency, Mailcode: 4606M, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC.
     Hand Delivery: Office of Water (OW) Docket, EPA/DC, EPA 
West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. Such 
deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of 
operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-
1013. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in 
the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov. The 
www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you 
provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment 
directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email 
address will be automatically captured and included as part of the 
comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the 
Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you 
include your name and other contact information in the body of your 
comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic 
files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of 
encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional 
information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center 
homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available

[[Page 40355]]

either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the OW 
Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 
p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone 
number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone 
number for the OW Docket is (202) 566-2426.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sherri Comerford, Underground 
Injection Control (UIC) Program, Drinking Water Protection Division, 
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (MC-4606M), Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; 
telephone number: (202) 564-4639; email address: 
Comerford.Sherri@epa.gov. For general information, visit the 
Underground Injection Control Program's Hydraulic Fracturing and the 
Safe Drinking Water Act Web site, http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/hydraulic-fracturing.cfm.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Underground injection of fluids through 
wells is subject to the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act 
(SDWA) except where specifically excluded by the statute. In the 2005 
Energy Policy Act (EP Act), Congress revised the SDWA definition of 
``underground injection'' to specifically exclude from UIC regulation 
the ``underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than 
diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related to 
oil, gas, or geothermal production activities'' (SDWA Section 
1421(d)(1)(B)). UIC regulations further provide that ``[a]ny 
underground injection, except into a well authorized by rule or except 
as authorized by permit issued under the UIC program, is prohibited'' 
(40 CFR 144.11). Thus, owners or operators who inject diesel fuels 
during hydraulic fracturing related to oil, gas, or geothermal 
operations must obtain a UIC permit before injection begins. While the 
EP Act references hydraulic fracturing related to geothermal 
activities, the draft guidance only covers hydraulic fracturing using 
diesel fuels related to oil and gas activities. Permits for oil and gas 
hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels are available through the UIC 
Class II Program, the well class for oil and gas activities. Geothermal 
activities are not considered Class II.
    The draft guidance provides information on SDWA UIC Class II 
requirements and recommendations for permitting hydraulic fracturing 
injection wells where diesel fuels are used in fluids or propping 
agents. The draft guidance is intended for EPA permit writers and, as a 
result, is relevant where EPA directly implements the UIC Class II 
program. Others may find the information in this document useful also. 
Recommendations in the draft guidance may change based on the comments 
we receive on the draft publication and this will be reflected in the 
final guidance. The deadline for submitting comments is August 23, 
2012.

    Dated: July 3, 2012.
Pamela S. Barr,
Acting Director, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.
[FR Doc. 2012-16694 Filed 7-6-12; 8:45 am]
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