Michigan officials propose new fracturing regulations

By John Flesher
AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says it’s developing new rules dealing with the natural gas development process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

DEQ officials announced proposed changes Tuesday. Director Dan Wyant says they’re intended to protect the state’s fresh water supplies while giving the public more information about fracking operations.

Fracking uses high volumes of water and chemicals to crack open rock formations deep underground and release trapped gas.

Study: New gas development boom unlikely in Michigan

The new rules would require companies to use a state computer system to make sure they don’t withdraw so much water for fracking that they damage rivers or streams.

They’d also have to disclose information about chemicals they use.

Wyant says the DEQ expects to complete the rules in six to nine months after getting comments from the public.