LANSING- Today, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced it will create new rules for hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The proposed rules focus on four areas: water withdrawal assessment and monitoring, water quality sampling, monitoring and reporting, and chemical additive disclosure.

“It’s great that the DEQ is proposing new requirements on fracking operations in Michigan, particularly around the water withdrawal assessment tool and reporting. Baseline water quality testing and ongoing monitoring should be a best practice for the industry across the United States,” said State Representative Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores).

“We know that Michigan can do more to protect our water from the risks and potential dangers of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracking,” said Roberts. “Earlier this year, I partnered with a number of my colleagues in the State House and environmental community to develop a comprehensive common sense package of bills. Yet, this legislation has not moved since introduction. The newly announced DEQ regulations offer us an opportunity to refocus our attention on the bill package, work in a bipartisan manner and explore other legislative options to ensure proper safeguards are in place that will protect Michigan’s most vital asset, our fresh water.”

House Bills 4899, 4900, 4901, 4902, 4903, 4904, 4905, and 4906 were introduced in July of this year. The legislative package addresses a number of fracking issues including public participation, well pad setbacks from schools and churches, full chemical disclosure, and requires the state conduct a full comprehensive study of all the associated fracking risks and impacts on our public health and environment.

“Across the state Michiganders are concerned about how fracking will impact Michigan. I am calling on the legislature to do the right thing and convene hearings on this and any fracking legislation that will ensure our water is protected for future generations to enjoy,” said Roberts.