TDEC and SOCM Propose Fracking Regulations

Member Daniel Snider speaks at the TDEC public hearingOn July 10th, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) held two public hearings to collect comments about its proposed regulations on hydrofracturing (fracking). Several SOCM members participated in the hearings.

Over the past two years, members of SOCM’s E3 Committee have worked together with members of the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and Tennessee Clean Water Network to advocate for strong rules that would protect Tennessee’s drinking water supplies from oil and gas drilling operations such as hydrofracking. We are now at a critical point in the process, and could use your help!

What you can do:

  1. Familiarize yourself with Fracking- Over the summer, SOCM members sent in comments in support of strong oil and gas rules that meet American Petroleum Institute (API) standards for hydrofracturing, and make requirements consistent, where applicable, with other TDEC permit programs, such as Water Pollution Control and Solid Waste. (See the consortium’s proposed changes here. The changes we proposed to the current rules are in green type; TDEC’s proposed changes are in red.) Though the deadline for public comments has passed, this will continue to be an important issue.
  1. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper to encourage other citizens to comment on these rules. For background information, you may want to check out the excellent fact sheet.

It’s best to use your own words, but you are welcome to use this sample to help with your letter: 


Dear Editor, 

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking, is a method that forces water, sand, nitrogen, and/or chemicals underground at high pressures to crack rock and release trapped oil and natural gas. This method has the potential to contaminate water supplies unless carefully regulated.

Hydrofracking is becoming more prevalent in Tennessee, especially in Fentress, Morgan, Overton and Scott counties.  Up to 66% of Tennessee could be targeted for fracking.

Citizens have an opportunity to protect water quality in Tennessee by commenting on the state’s proposed revisions to its oil and gas rules relating to fracturing. The proposed rules are available at the TDEC website:

http://www.tn.gov/environment/wpc/ppo/og_ph071012.pdf

Members of the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment, Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and Tennessee Clean Water Network worked together to propose changes that would limit damaging effects to our drinking water from hydrofracking.

Please ask the Tennessee Oil and Gas Board to bring oil and gas rules up to American Petroleum Institute (API) standards, and make the requirements consistent, where applicable, with other TDEC permit programs, such as Water Pollution Control and Solid Waste. (See the consortium’s proposed changes at  http://tcwp.org/OilandGasRules.pdf).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *