The Subcommittee for Shale Gas Production recommended that action be taken to reduce the environmental impact accompanying the rapid expansion of shale gas production across the country. Otherwise there would be a real risk of serious environmental harm.
Subcommittee Chairman John Deutch, an MIT professor, said: “Industry, working with state and federal regulators and public interest groups, should increase their best field engineering practices and environmental control activities by adopting the objective of continuous improvement, validated by measurement and disclosure of key operating metrics. This is the surest path forward to assure that shale gas is produced in an environmentally sound fashion, and in a way that meets the needs of public trust.”
Deutsch stated that environmental issues need to be addressed now – especially in terms of waste water, air quality, and community impact. The subcommittee's report noted that joint federal and state efforts to ensure water quality were not working smoothly, and called on the EPA to improve oversight as it studies the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water.
It called for the monitoring of air emissions and water quality, setting regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies, establishing industry best practices, and training workers. A copy of the report can be downloaded at the Shale Gas Subcommittee's website.
Environmental organizations wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to issue an executive order directing agencies in his administration to adopt the subcommittee's recommendations that apply to federal agencies without delay. See their letter to President Obama.