EPA issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) May 19, 2014, describing the wide range of actions EPA can take under TSCA authorities, as well as voluntary measures, to address concerns with the safety of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) chemicals in response to a citizen petition.  It would appear that EPA is not locked on any one approach.  Proponents should be prepared to back their recommendations with plenty of justification, especially if they are pushing for regulations.

EPA asks dozens of thoughtful questions that demonstrate how they think about managing chemical risks and the tools they can use.  They also show appropriate sensitivity to the highly confidential nature of companies proprietary mixtures sold for fracking use.

It will be an interesting case of balancing demands from those who want to protect the environment at all costs via banning fracking entirely to those who see it as salvation for national energy woes and jobs, and to those who are going to make gobs of money.  Don't expect any final action before midterm elections.

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