Environmentalists Pan Proposed Fracking Rules As Comment Period Ends

Jul 31, 2014

The time for people to tell the state what they think of proposed new rules for fracking ends at midnight.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, environmentalists are urging the state to make the rules tougher.

As written, the proposal would require oil and gas companies to do more water quality testing and be more transparent about their methods for getting natural gas out of the ground. But conservation groups say the rules still don’t do enough to prevent accidents or spills.      

Jack Schmitt is with the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. The group sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality asking for stronger regulations. Schmitt says the DEQ has shown interest in working with them.

“I think the results will speak for themselves, though,” he says.  “If we get rules that don’t reflect any of the comments, then I think we’re going to have to question how important this process was to the DEQ.”

The department says fracking has never caused an environmental problem in Michigan.