Proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing, often known as “fracking,” have been put on hold until November 6 by the bipartisan legislative committee that reviews state regulations.
The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules had placed the regulations on their October 14 meeting agenda, but elected to push back any vote on the rules so that discussions can continue. The committee is charged with assuring that the rules adopted will reflect the language of Senate Bill 1715, which authorized hydraulic fracturing when it passed in 2013.
The legislation was painstakingly negotiated between energy companies and environmentalists and lawmakers want to make sure the rules that state regulators will operate under accurately reflect the language and intent of the original measure.
The Administrative Rules committee is facing a November 15 deadline to adopt rules or force the process to start over again. With no rules in place, some have raised concerns that a court could order that hydraulic fracturing can begin in a virtually unregulated environment.