EPA Issues Guidance on Fracking with Diesel: An Oversight Step in the Right Direction

February 13, 2014 • Aaron Mintzes

Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delivered their final Guidance to their regional offices for regulating hydraulic fracturing with diesel fuel. Our story dates back to 2005 when then Vice President Dick Cheney gathered his former employer Halliburton and a number of other energy companies behind closed doors to hammer out what would become the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Media Releases

New EPA Fracking Diesel Guidance Step in Right Direction

February 11, 2014 • Earthworks

Washington, D.C. — Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released long-awaited guidance (see below for links) describing how the oil and gas industry may use diesel fuel in the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking).  When it takes effect sometime this year, this will be EPA’s first formal rule or guidance dealing with fracking’s threat to drinking water.  

“Diesel and drinking water don't mix,” said Earthworks executive director Jennifer Krill. She continued, “Even the Cheney-era Congress recognized diesel’s hazard to drinking water.  That’s why, even as they passed the Halliburton loophole to the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress left the door open for this first-ever EPA oversight of fracking’s threat to drinking water.”


Joint comments to EPA re draft guidance for underground injection of diesel during fracking

August 23, 2012 • NRDC, Earthworks, CCE, Clean Water Action, Clean Water Network, Conejos Clean Water, Delaware Riverkeeper, Environment America, People's Oil & Gas Collaborative, Powder River Basin Resource Council, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, Sierra Club

Joint NGO Comments on Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels—Draft:
Underground Injection Control Program Guidance #84


Time to Ban Diesel in Fracking

June 27, 2012 • Aaron Mintzes

In 2005, the newly re-elected Bush/Cheney Administration settled in to a second term eager to drastically reshape our nation’s energy policy. Vice President Cheney held a series of closed-door meetings with energy companies, forging a direction so favorable to drillers that the exemptions from our bedrock environmental laws crafted therein became known as the Halliburton loopholes. One of those exemptions (there are a total of seven) declared that the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) would not apply to hydraulic fracturing. Originally passed by Congress in 1974, the SDWA is the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans' drinking water, especially underground sources of drinking water.

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Fact Sheet on EPA’s Diesel Guidance

June 27, 2012 • Aaron Mintzes

Summary: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed permitting guidance for hydraulic fracturing operations using diesel. The guidance is the first federal policy focused on protecting drinking water sources from hydraulic fracturing.


Earthworks comments to the EPA re use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing

June 29, 2011 • Gwen Lachelt and Lisa Sumi

Group letter to EPA Administrator re diesel fuel

August 5, 2010