As concerns in some quarters grow about the natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), some government agencies are increasing the amount of attention they're paying to the issue.
In the case of the BLM, the agency is scheduled to hold three public forums from April 20-25, 2011, in Bismarck, Denver, and Little Rock.
- "BLM To Hold Regional Forums on Hydraulic Fracturing in Natural Gas Production," April 1, 2011, press release.
Bismarck, ND, April 20, 4-9 pm, Belle Mehus Auditorium, 201 North 6th Street.
Little Rock, AR, April 22, 8 am-1 pm, Statehouse Convention Center at Markham and Broadway.
Denver, CO, area, April 25, 4-9 pm, Denver Marriott West, 1717 Denver West Blvd., in Golden.
For more information, contact Matt Spangler, 202-912-7414.
As the press release notes, "topics to be discussed will include best management practices, disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids, well construction and integrity, production wastewater management, and other techniques for protecting drinking water resources. Panelists will include experts from federal and state governments, industry, and environmental organizations that have been engaged in natural gas development issues."
Natural gas reserves underlie many BLM lands, and the agency has considerable influence over how the resource is extracted. However, its actions may be significantly affected by any new policies and regulations EPA develops in its ongoing multi-year process that is assessing fracking operations. For much more information on that and other fracking issues, see the TipSheet of Sept. 15, 2010:
Some related information is included in the March 2, 2011, TipSheet on oil fracking: