The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) will conduct a meeting on December 12, 2012, to discuss a proposed new rule addressing the air quality impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Southern California.
The proposed new rule, Rule 1148.2, has been under development by AQMD staff for several months. As we previously reported (here, here, and here), the AQMD has been actively engaged in the fracking debate, conducting a symposium on September 18, 2012, and a further hearing on a proposed fracking rule on October 5, 2012. At the October 5 hearing, the AQMD Board adopted staff’s recommendation that the Board direct staff to initiate rule development to include the following:
1. When hydraulic fracturing is used in oil and gas production activities to report the chemicals used, additional reporting information will be determined as part of the rule development process. The proposed rule may include other reporting and public notification requirements.
2. Determine if existing AQMD regulations adequately cover oil and gas production activities when hydraulic fracturing is used. Develop additional provisions to ensure that air emission impacts are minimized. In determining need for additional regulatory actions under No. 1 above, evaluate best available control technologies (BACT), toxic best available control technologies (T-BACT), and best management practices.
3. A report on the initiation and progress of rule development will be provided to the Board’s Stationary Source Committee within 120 days.
A copy of staff’s report, which includes the recommendations above and a detailed summary of the September 18 fracking symposium, may be found on the AQMD’s website (pdf).
Proposed Rule 1148.2 has not yet been released publicly. In a personal communication, AQMD staff advised that “the availability of the rule language is unknown at this time” and that they hope to have the rule available at the December 12 meeting. We will post the proposed rule on the blog when it becomes available.
The agenda for the December 12 meeting (pdf) includes the following items:
- Proposed Approach
- Initial Draft of Proposed Rule 1148.2 – Hydraulic Fracturing Notification and Reporting
- Proposed Rulemaking Schedule
- Next Meeting
The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the offices of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, located at 21865 Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, California 91765 (map).