BLM Extends Public Comment Period on Proposed Rules until 9/10/12

Acting BLM Director
Mike Pool
On June 27, 2012, the Bureau of Land Management announced that it had extended the public comment period on its proposed rules (issued on May 4, 2012) to require companies to publicly disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Indian lands.

Comments from the public, industry groups, and other stakeholders will now be accepted until September 10, 2012

The decision to extend the comment period for an additional 60 days was made to allow greater public participation. 

As of June 25, 2012, the Bureau had received more than 170 comments on the proposed rules. 

Acting Director Mike Pool explained that “it is critical that the public have full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place…and additional time was warranted so that all parties had an opportunity to participate.”

In addition to the required disclosure of hydraulic fracturing chemicals, the proposed rules include new guidelines for how drillers case drilled wells and require that oil and gas operators have a water management plan in place for handling fracturing fluids that flow back to the surface. 

According to the Bureau, these rules will modernize the management of well stimulation activities, including hydraulic fracturing, to make sure that oil and gas operations conducted on federal and Indian lands follow common sense industry best practices. 

The Bureau asserts that these rules will build public confidence, while ensuring continued access to valuable resources needed for the country’s energy economy.

This article was prepared by Barclay Nicholson ( / 713 651 3662) from Fulbright's Energy Law Practice.