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Oil, Gas Groups in Settlement Talks with EPA over Drinking Water Permits

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D.C. Circuit Court Judges Merrick Garland, Janice Brown, and Thomas Griffith gave the EPA and two oil and gas industry groups until January 9, 2012, to file a motion to resolve a dispute concerning the requirement that oil and gas companies obtain drinking water permits if they used diesel oil in hydraulic fracking. Oral arguments scheduled for November 14, 2011 were postponed while the parties engage in settlement talks.

The lawsuit was filed in August by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the US Oil and Gas Association in August, over a statement posted on the EPA website that said that drillers using diesel in fracturing fluids “must receive prior authorization” from the underground injection program, because wells with such fluids “will be considered Class 2 wells by the UIC program.”

The industry groups said that the EPA overstepped its authority by specifying the groups of wells that can be used for fracking, saying that the statement on the website constituted a rulemaking without notice and comment, reported the Bureau of National Affairs.

The government agency and industry groups said, “the parties agree that postponing would enable them to focus on finalizing a settlement, securing the approval of the necessary government officials, and, ultimately voluntarily dismissing the current action without further involvement from the court.” disclaimer: This article: Oil, Gas Groups in Settlement Talks with EPA over Drinking Water Permits was posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 at 8:29 pm at and is filed under Toxic Substances Lawsuits.

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