The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to assure environmentalists that it hasn’t dropped the ball on oversight of hydraulic fracturing.
A letter from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to the Natural Resources Defense Council vows the agency will take steps on several fronts to boost the environmental safety of fracking, the oil-and-gas extraction method that’s enabling U.S. energy production to soar.
“The EPA is moving forward on several initiatives to provide regulatory clarity with respect to existing laws and using existing authorities where appropriate to enhance public health and environmental safeguards,” McCarthy writes in a Jan. 10 letter.
The newsletter EnergyWire, which reported on the letter earlier Wednesday, notes that McCarthy is responding to a September letter from NRDC’s president about EPA’s decision to drop water-contamination enforcement cases and probes in three states in recent years.
McCarthy’s letter defends those decisions while touting various pending initiatives.
They include planned permitting “guidance” on fracking activities that use diesel fuels; the agency’s ongoing study of the effects of fracking on drinking-water resources; and support for planned Interior Department regulations that will govern fracking on public lands.
And McCarthy says EPA hasn’t forgotten about plans, announced in 2011, to craft regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act to obtain more data from industry on chemicals used in fracking.
“The EPA will launch a stakeholder- and public-engagement process to seek input on the design and scope of such chemical reporting,” McCarthy writes.
Beyond that, she notes that EPA “anticipates moving forward” with revisions to wastewater regulations to provide more controls on discharges from oil-and-gas development that uses fracking.
The letter touts prior EPA actions, including 2012 air-pollution rules for hydraulically fractured wells. Check it out here.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."