Government regulations of Hydraulic Fracturing

The process of Hydraulic Fracturing began in the United States, although it is moving its way to Canada due to the vast amount of shale that can be exploited. At the current time it’s mainly been practiced on the east coast.  There really aren’t very many regulations on the process of hydraulic fracturing seeing as it’s a fairly new technology, and most people don’t know if it’s bad or good and any regulations that have been put into effect vary from province to province. The Premier of Nova Scotia, Darrell Dexter, stated that he wanted to wait and see what happens in other places before he made any regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing. Quebec has made the decision to temporarily suspend hydraulic fracturing until more information on the process and its risks become available, and there are currently no hydraulic fracturing operations taking place in Nova Scotia at the present time.  The New Brunswick government is also reviewing the practice of hydraulic fracturing after there was an incident of well water contamination and are contemplating the implementation of new regulations regarding the matter. The Canadian government is trying to decide on which regulations to impose to protect the environment while not limiting the potential that the industry has. (*Too soon for fracking regulation: Premier) Even if no main regulations have been imposed on hydraulic fracturing, all cases of natural gas production are mandated to separate and protect drinking water and or ground water from the natural gas operations.. (*Shale Gas) In 2004 in the United States, the EPA published a report stating that hydraulic fracturing posed “little or no threat” to drinking water. After this report they declined all further studies related to the issue. Although the regulations vary from location to location, companies are generally forced to disclose all chemicals used in the fracturing process, as well as disclose the concentrations of the chemicals used once the fracture has been completed. (*EPA Findings on Hydraulic Fracturing Deemed Unsupportable)

Is this regulation sufficient?

In my personal opinion the process of hydraulic fracturing needs to be heavily regulated in order to prevent the destruction of our environment. After watching gaslands I saw that many people inhabiting the regions surrounding “fracking” operations were being fairly seriously harmed, not only due to natural gas escaping from the ground into the air but also from hydraulic fracturing fluid spills. Without proper regulation hydraulic fracturing will contaminate our water sources and kill our environment. The concentration of natural gas entering people’s wells was so high that in some cases people could actually light their water on fire. I believe that the EPA should further investigate the process of hydraulic fracturing and the harmful effects that it can have on the regions surrounding the operations.