By Ben Geman and Zack Colman - 04/11/13 06:39 PM ET
GET READY: The Interior Department is on the cusp of releasing a controversial, heavily lobbied proposal to regulate oil-and-gas “fracking” on public lands.
Outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a House subcommittee Thursday that the draft regulations will surface soon.
“The rule is imminent,” Salazar told an Appropriations Committee subpanel. “I expect that my successor will be announcing it in the very near future.”
It’s Interior’s second swing at the plan after pulling back an earlier version in January.
The measure will require disclosure of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process, and also includes provisions on well integrity and management of “flowback” water.
The rule faces pushback from industry groups who fear new costs and say state-level regulation is protective enough, while green groups are in favor of new federal requirements.
Industry lobbyists, environmentalists and others have held around a dozen meetings with the White House Office of Management and Budget on the plan this year. The latest one listed was on March 28, when Exxon representatives met with OMB.