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NGA Publishes Paper on State Practices to Protect Drinking Water While Developing Shale Energy

The National Governors Association (NGA) has published a paper entitled, “State Practices to Protect Drinking Water While Developing Shale Energy.” The paper summarizes key points discussed at an experts’ roundtable held in March 2015, and is supplemented by NGA Center research.  It recommends actions Governors can consider when developing protective state practices in five broad categories:

  1. Reduce the quantity of drinking water used in hydraulic fracturing.
  2. Ensure well integrity and plugging to minimize risks to water.
  3. Manage risks of contamination from hydraulic fracturing fluids.
  4. Mitigate risks from wastewater contamination and seismicity.
  5. Leverage the unique role of the governor to promote protective practices.

When developing state practices, the paper also recommends that Governors should:  examine new policy options; understand shale energy industry risks; consider trade-offs among risks; consider regional differences; and incorporate opportunities to verify that industry practices and government policies are achieving their goals.  In addition, the paper recommends that Governors look at other states’ existing practices for good examples to emulate.  To read the paper, visit the NGA web site.