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State Rules for Wastewater Management Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing Vary Widely Across the US, Reflecting 'Tightrope'

The energy revolution generated by hydraulic fracturing and its economic impacts over the past decade have materially shifted the US and international worldview. Positive developments in the financial and operational environment yielded by fracing have naturally been accompanied by efforts to avoid negative impacts to the physical environment. One of the primary areas of industry, public, and regulatory attention has been management of flowback and produced water from fracing, known as wastewater. Regulation of wastewater is primarily, though not exclusively, a state issue. This article focuses on some of the trends in regulation of wastewater management across the US and examines how regional variations are impacting operations.

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This article originally appeared in the Oil & Gas Journal.