Draft federal rules on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be released in a matter of “weeks, not months,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Tuesday.
The draft rules have undergone “sufficient change,” Jewell said during a media call. They’ll go through a public comment period once revealed.
Interior decided in January to rewrite the rules that would govern fracking on federal lands.
The controversial drilling method involves injecting a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals into tight-rock formations to tap oil and gas reserves buried deep underground.
Environmentalists are concerned that fracking pollutes groundwater and have called for strong regulations to protect drinking reservoirs.
The draft rules are expected to establish new requirements for maintaining well integrity and managing so-called flowback water. They will also force drillers to disclose chemicals they use during the fracking process.
The oil and gas industry contends fracking is safe, noting that states have regulated the practice for decades.
The industry is pushing back against the rules, which it says would be duplicative and would fail to account for geological differences between states.
Jewell, for her part, has said a “one-size-fits-all” approach to regulating fracking won’t work.