Do you know if fracking is allowed where you live? Are you about to move to a place where it is allowed? How do you feel about that?
In order to chime in on these questions, it probably helps to know what ‘fracking’ actually is. Fracking is the term we use for hydraulic fracturing technology that many power companies are now using to tap into the United States’ vast natural gas shale resources throughout the country. There is much controversy surrounding the practice and many environmentalists claim that fracking can actually cause illness and environmental distress.
Industry professionals want fracking regulations to remain at the state level – depending on where you live or will move to, there will be different laws. Environmentalists want the rules and regulations to be run by the Federal government, not the states. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has a proposal in the works for 2014.
What About Your State?
But 2014 seems so far off. So, what should you know before you move to an area about fracking? Something that causes so much debate probably should be considered when someone is relocating to any area.
The first thing you should know is that state bans of fracking are starting to pile up. In fact, New Jersey just banned the practice of fracking for a year so that cases and studies can be sorted through. So, if you are moving to New Jersey, you won’t be subject to fracking in your area for at least a year.
If you live in New York, get ready for some of the strictest standards in the country. Right now, there is a three-year moratorium in place on fracking, which might end in the next couple of months. So, if you know anything about the potential risks of fracking and don’t want to live in a state where the regulations aren’t very strict, you might consider moving to New York.
Lawmakers in West Virginia, where coal mining is king (another controversial issue for environmentalists) want to make their regulations on fracking much more strict as well. In fact, they want to set fracking permit fees for $10,000 for the first fracking well and then $5,000 for each subsequent well in the same area.
Across the board, the fracking laws will have different setbacks and rules for homeowners, reimbursement to landowners from mining companies, and road repair (the fracking equipment is heavy and can damage roads).
What About the Environment?
While the states are setting their own rules and regulations, the EPA may eventually demand green compliance for fracking. This could help alleviate some of the health-related issues and environmental damage fracking is said to cause. One suggestion is that drillers will soon be required to install equipment to capture VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, as well as fracking fluids, which may pollute nearby water sources.
So, if you live in a state where fracking is already happening – and it is going on in almost all 50 states – how do you feel about it? Have you moved away from the fracking areas because of potential harm it could cause to your health? Have you rented your land to a fracking company?