Through every stage of the process, Barnett Shale operators are heavily regulated by several local, state and federal laws.
At the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) handles most environmental laws. In addition, both the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service oversee all operations on federally owned land.
In Texas, industry oversight is handled by both the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). Each monitors all environmental activities, including air and water safety, waste management, wildlife impact, and worker health and safety. Texas is also one of several states to require specific disclosure on the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing.
These are some of the federal statutes that apply to the North Texas natural gas industry.
Clean Water Act: Regulates surface discharges from drilling and production, as well as storm water runoff from production sites.
Safe Drinking Water Act: Regulates the underground injection of wastes.
Clean Air Act: Limits emissions from engines, gas-processing equipment, and other sources involved in drilling and production.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act: Requires producers to handle and dispose of their wastes according to very specific guidelines.
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act: Requires producers to notify local authorities and first responders about the type and amount of chemicals used on location, as well as planning in the event of an accident.
Occupational Safety and Health Act: Protects the health and safety of workers in the industry, as well as in other fields.