Fracking is exempt from key federal environmental regulations.
The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 contained a provision that has come to be known as the "Halliburton Loophole," an exemption for gas drilling and extraction from requirements in the underground injection control (UIC) program of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Other exemptions are also present in the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
Some natural gas companies are not acting in good faith.
A recent Congressional investigation has found that 32 million gallons of diesel fuel have been illegally injected into the ground as a fracking chemical in 19 different states from 2005 to 2009. Diesel fuel is believed to be particularly damaging to water supplies, and because of this, remains the only fracking chemical still regulated under the UIC program of the SDWA.
- Despite their claims that the chemicals used in the fracking process is safe, some drilling companies have consistently refused to provide a comprehensive list of the chemical additives used in fracking fluid.
Fracking is exempt from state water use regulations.
Michigan recently joined other Great Lakes states in passing the Great Lakes Compact, an agreement limiting large water withdrawals. Despite the fact that each fracking well can use up to five million gallons of locally-sourced water, the practice is exempt from regulation under the legislation implementing the Compact.